Pool cue manufacturer McDermott Cue sold

Published on: 4/13/2009

McDermott Cue Manufactoring in Menomonee Falls has been sold to two of the company's managers and a Milwaukee-area businessman, Greg Knight.

The company, with 35 employees, sells pool cues worldwide to billiard stores, pool halls, online distributors and big-box sporting goods chains. McDermott is the largest pool cue maker in the United States, according to Knight.

McDermott was started in 1975 by Jim McDermott. McDermott sold the business in 1994 to his son, Jesse, and Larry Johns, and it was acquired by Prospect Partners, a Chicago private equity firm, in 2001.

In addition to Knight, the new owners are Nat Rosasco, president and chief executive officer; and Larry Liebl, executive vice president. Both will continue in their roles, and Knight, who holds a majority share of the company, will serve as director.

Knight, who lives in Pewaukee, was not associated with the pool cue business before the transaction. Knight owns a company that packages and distributes melting products and was searching for another business investment when he found McDermott through a broker.

In 2000, the company had about $5 million in revenue and 45 employees, and it was struggling financially in the face of increased competition and the debt incurred in the 1994 purchase from the founder. Rosasco said current sales were at about the same level, but McDermott's financial position has improved.