Case studY:
Crappie USA & King Kat


Navigating a Fishing Tournament Company Sale with Confidence

Client Background:

Darrell Van Vactor, one of the owners of Crappie USA and King Cat, faced a unique challenge when his partners were ready to retire, and he desired to remain involved with the company. However, Darrell lacked experience in valuing the business and was uncertain about the potential buyers and the best way to find them. To protect the company’s reputation and confidentiality, he sought a more robust service than what local brokers offered.


  1. Valuation and Buyer Identification: Darrell and his team were experts at running their fishing tournament business. Still, when it came to valuing the company and identifying potential buyers, they lacked experience and were unsure of the business’s true worth.
  2. Confidentiality Concerns: As they wanted to ensure that the company’s reputation remained intact, Darrell and his team were reluctant to disclose sensitive information to just anyone. They were worried that word getting out about the sale could harm the company’s standing in the industry.
  3. Search for the Right Buyers: Darrell and his team were eager to find buyers who shared the company’s values and commitment to preserving its family-oriented culture. However, they were unsure of how to conduct an effective search to identify qualified and motivated buyers.

Sagewood’s Approach:

Recognizing the unique challenges of the situation, Sagewood Advisors took a meticulous approach to guide Darrell and his team through the process of selling their fishing tournament company.

  1. Comprehensive Valuation: Sagewood Advisors conducted a detailed valuation of the company, providing Darrell and his team with a clear understanding of its true worth. Armed with this information, they were better equipped to make informed decisions throughout the sale process.
  2. Confidentiality and Buyer Screening: To address confidentiality concerns, Sagewood Advisors implemented a strategic approach to screen potential buyers. They ensured that only qualified and suitable candidates received information about the sale, protecting the company’s reputation.
  3. Targeted Search and Expert Guidance: Sagewood Advisors leveraged their extensive network and industry expertise to conduct a targeted search for the right buyers. They identified a pool of potential candidates who shared the company’s values and were genuinely interested in acquiring the business.

When we visited with the buyers on a conference call with Ben, we liked their story. We felt like it was a fit our companies because…we are very family oriented and have been since we started. So it was just a perfect fit for us.” – Darrell Van Vactor

A Successful Outcome:

With Sagewood Advisors’ guidance, Darrell and his team found the perfect match—a family looking to buy the company for their son, who was passionate about the fishing tournament industry. This connection aligned seamlessly with the company’s family-oriented values.

“The entire company, of course, we were dealing with Ben almost exclusively, but he had all the information behind him to back up what he was doing that he needed. Very reputable company. You can’t do any better. That’s where I would go again without a doubt.” – Darrell Van Vactor


Through Sagewood Advisors’ expertise and personalized approach, Darrell Van Vactor successfully navigated the sale of Croppie USA and King Cat. The transaction fulfilled his vision of preserving the company’s legacy while ensuring that it remained in capable hands. Darrell’s experience serves as a testament to the value of working with experts like Sagewood Advisors when selling a business in a niche industry.

Industries and Sectors: Outdoor Recreation, Fishing, Event Management