J. Wayne Merck, the former president and CEO of K2 Inc., has joined Angelo, Gordon & Co. as a senior advisor. Merck will also serve on the board of the firm's portfolio company, KEE Action Sports.

“We are thrilled Wayne has decided to become a Senior Advisor to our firm's Private Equity Group,” said Arthur Peponis, Co-Head of Angelo Gordon's Private Equity and Special Situations activities. “He will help us immensely with our investment activities going forward.”

“Wayne's experience in the consumer goods and sporting equipment industries is a great asset to our firm as we explore investment opportunities in his areas of expertise,” said David Roberts, Senior Managing Director and Co-Head of Angelo Gordon's Private Equity and Special Situations activities. “He will also be instrumental in helping KEE Action Sports execute its strategy going forward.”

Prior to joining Angelo Gordon, Merck was most recently Director, President and CEO of K2 Inc., where he had worked in various roles and divisions since 1991. He was instrumental in the growth of K2 Inc. through both organic growth and acquisitions from under $600 million in revenue in 2002 to approximately $1.5 billion in 2007. In 2007 Mr. Merck helped facilitate the sale of K2 Inc. to Jarden Corp. and supported the integration into Jarden through 2008. Merck holds an MBA and BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University.

“Angelo Gordon has a great team, strategy and resources and I'm pleased to join them as a Senior Advisor,” said Merck. “Additionally, the opportunity to join the board of KEE Action Sports will allow me to begin working on behalf of Angelo Gordon immediately.”

“Having a board member of Wayne's caliber only adds credibility and excitement to KEE's growth and diversification strategies,” said John Robinson, President and CEO of KEE Action Sports. “With him on board to help guide us, KEE is poised to further enhance its reputation as the top paintball company in the world.”

Angelo Gordon's Private Equity Group is currently investing its fourth fund, which closed at the end of 2008. The team makes control investments with deal sizes ranging from $50 million to $500 million. Sector expertise includes business services, financial services, healthcare services, and consumer/retail.