Acquisition of Shock Doctor

April 03, 2008

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Norwest Equity Partners (NEP) today announced that it has acquired Shock Doctor, Inc. (Shock Doctor or the Company), a leading branded consumer products company focused on the sports protection category.

Shock Doctor, based in Plymouth, Minnesota, is a widely-recognized brand leader that produces sports protective gear with innovative design and superior technology. In addition to a full line of patented, technologically-advanced mouthguards, Shock Doctor manufactures more than 650 SKUs and offers a comprehensive line of innovative performance products, including core protective gear for hockey, football, baseball, lacrosse, and motorsports, as well as protective cups, supporters, compression shorts, and patented Powder Dry gear bags.

Timothy Kuehl, NEP Partner and Shock Doctor board member, stated, “Shock Doctor provides a terrific investment opportunity for NEP. With consistent sales and profitability growth over the years it has established a technology leadership position within its market. Together with the management team, NEP is in position to leverage an established consumer brand and continue to work on building an entire sports protection products platform.”

Steve Washburn, Shock Doctor President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Much of our growth success comes from our strategy of focusing on brand development, product innovation and category segmentation across a broad range of sports categories. We are very much looking forward to working with NEP as our new investment partner to build upon this proven strategy.”

Originally established as E-Z Gard Industries, Inc., the Company was the first to significantly redesign the conventional, single layer mouthguard used in the United States since the 1940s. Its products were designed with extensive research, design and development, including working directly with dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, professional athletes, parents and children to help determine how to improve both the safety benefits and comfort features needed in a mouthguard. The result, more than 15 years ago, was the introduction of the Company’s signature product – the Shock Doctor mouthguard. Billed as the “first engineered mouthguard,” the product quickly became an essential piece of equipment for hundreds of thousands of athletes. The Shock Doctor brand became so well recognized that, in 2000, the company officially changed its name from E-Z Gard to Shock Doctor, Inc.

Shock Doctor products are offered through sporting goods dealers, catalogs and health care professionals throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Prior to the NEP acquisition, Shock Doctor was a portfolio company of Minneapolis private equity firm Hillcrest Capital Partners (“Hillcrest”). Jeff Turner, Managing Partner of Hillcrest, stated, “Since our investment in Shock Doctor nearly five years ago, the Company has more than tripled revenue through the addition of a variety of products lines that not only leverage its brand name but its broad retail relationships. Shock Doctor is in a great position to continue realizing its growth strategy with NEP as its new investment partner.”

Wachovia Securities (led by bankers Joseph Pellegrini and Andrew Martin) served as financial advisor to Shock Doctor, Lindquist & Vennum, LLP provided legal counsel to NEP, and Faegre & Benson LLP provided legal services to Hillcrest.

For more information on Shock Doctor, please visit