As to how I find these things, they find me. I use an RSS aggregator to search news and SEC feeds every 15 minutes for all of my holdings and their sub-holdings. (Snarfer, free.) Of course that includes each of the CODI companies.
As to CODI's future, I certainly don't know any more than anyone else. I've been in/out since 2007. I consider CODI an investment, not a trade, but will sometimes trade it in my retirement account (to avoid the hassle of calculating adjusted basis on sales). I consider Fox to be the crown jewel, with expanding revenue/earnings every quarter. Second in my favorites it Advanced Circuits. Not glamorous, but it keeps growing and I expect that someone will overpay to buy it from CODI sometime in the future.
I'm disappointed with AFM (as everyone is) and the re-named Anodyne (calling a goose a duck will not make it quack). I'm a little worried about the amount of goodwill we paid for with Ergo Baby, Arnold and Camelbak, and slightly more concerned with the impact of the Iraq/Afganistan drawdown on Camelbak revenues and whether we bought Camelbak at the top of the market. But I'm still long ...
As to Joe coming back, I'm would only be guessing. Keep in mind, even after Joe's departure, CODI was as high as +$16, and I'm not sure that Joe actually went anywhere, other than in form and filings.