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North Castle Partners Names Dennis Lee of Octane Fitness CEO of the Year

GREENWICH, Conn. and BROOKLYN PARK, Minn., May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- North Castle Partners today announced that it awarded Dennis Lee, CEO of Octane Fitness, the North Castle 2007 CEO of the Year Award. North Castle, a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in consumer-driven product and service businesses that benefit from "Healthy Living and Aging" trends, presented the award to Mr. Lee at its Spring 2008 CEO Conference for his extraordinary contribution to the success of North Castle over the past 12 months.

Under Dennis Lee's leadership, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota-based Octane has consistently achieved its financial goals, including growing sales and EBITDA in 2007 by 27% and 36%, respectively. Since North Castle's initial investment in January 2005, Octane has grown to be the #1 market share leader, up from #3. As a result of this growth, 100% of North Castle's initial investment has been returned within 26 months.

"Each year during our CEO Conference, one of the highlights for the Partners of our firm is to name the North Castle CEO of the Year," said Chip Baird, North Castle's Founder and Managing Director. "This award is a tradition that is now in its eighth year and is based on our commitment to ourselves that, as busy as we all are, we will periodically stop to celebrate our successes, particularly the successes of our CEOs.

"For North Castle, investing is not only about the numbers; it also is about building great companies within a set of core values," continued Mr. Baird. "Dennis Lee has grown his team from nine to more than 35 motivated professionals; executed a dual-sourcing strategy for manufacturing; successfully designed and introduced 15 new products; secured new patents; established a nationwide third party service network to support direct commercial growth; and created a European joint venture, just to name a few."

Dennis Lee said, "I am honored to receive the North Castle CEO of the Year award, and join the roster of other accomplished North Castle CEOs, including Monty Sharma, CEO of Atkins Nutritionals and former CEO of Naked Juice and EAS, as well as Gil Pritchard, North Castle's newest advisor and former CEO of Avalon Natural Products."

About Octane Fitness

Fueled by a relentless passion to offer the best elliptical machines, Octane Fitness is committed exclusively to delivering breakthrough, performance cross training-unlike any other fitness equipment manufacturer today. Low-impact cardiovascular equipment is the sole focus of Octane Fitness' extensive research, development, testing and manufacturing-all ultimately to benefit exercisers with superior quality products; innovative, effective workouts and unparalleled personalized service. Octane has earned numerous "Best Buy" designations from various leading consumer publications, Health magazine's "Best of Fitness" award, the #1 elliptical brand according to retailers in an annual SNEWS/GearTrends industry survey, and the Ernst & Young "2007 Entrepreneur of the Year Award" in Consumer Products. Octane Fitness was founded in 2001 by fitness equipment industry veterans Dennis Lee and Tim Porth. For more information, visit

About North Castle Partners

North Castle Partners is a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in consumer-driven product and service businesses that benefit from "Healthy Living and Aging" trends. North Castle is a hands-on, value- added investor in high-growth, middle market companies in the (i) aesthetics and personal care, (ii) consumer health, (iii) fitness and recreation, (iv) home and leisure and (v) nutrition industries.

North Castle's current portfolio includes such well-known brands as Atkins Nutritionals, gloProfessional, Red Door Spas, Enzymatic Therapy, Performance Bicycle, Cascade Helmets, World Health Club and Octane Fitness. Prior portfolio company holdings include Equinox Fitness, EAS, CRC Health Group, Doctor's Dermatologic Formula, Naked Juice Company and Avalon Natural Products.

North Castle is led by a seasoned investment team including 15 proactive operating advisors who bring a wide range of operational and investment capabilities as well as an extensive knowledge base and network. The strength of the North Castle team, combined with our focus and network, provides significant competitive advantages in building world-class companies. North Castle is headquartered in Greenwich, CT. For more information, visit

Contact: Todd Fogarty

Kekst and Company


SOURCE North Castle Partners
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