If you want to make a big deal out of it, chances are Bain Capital will get involved. The private equity and venture capital investor acquires and owns interests in companies in the business services, retail and consumer products, communications, health care, hospitality, and technology sectors. The firm has made private equity investments in more than 250 companies since its 1984 founding. Its diverse portfolio currently includes stakes in such well-known companies as American Standard, Burlington Coat Factory, Clear Channel Communications, Dunkin' Brands, SunGard Data Systems, Warner Music Group, The Weather Channel, and HD Supply, the former wholesale construction supply business of The Home Depot.
Other notable holdings include sportswear distributor Broder Bros., Guitar Center, OSI Restaurant Partners, contract research organization Quintiles, paper company Unisource, pharmaceutical firm Warner Chilcott, and D&M Holdings, which owns high-end audio and video equipment brands such as Denon, Marantz, Macintosh, and Boston Acoustics. Bain Capital is usually an active long-term investor that often takes seats on its portfolio companies' boards of directors and partners with their management to help foster growth.
Bain Capital has units devoted to private equity investments in Europe, India, and Asia, as well as an affiliate focusing on absolute return investment strategies and a venture capital affiliate that makes late-stage investments in technology firms and technology-intensive health care and business services concerns. Its Brookside Capital affiliate invests in publicly traded companies, and Sankaty Advisors manages high-yield debt obligations (think junk bonds). All told, Bain Capital has more than $65 billion of assets under management.
As markets stirred to life following the credit crisis, Bain Capital cashed in on some of its investments through IPOs, including FleetCor Technologies and Sensata Technologies in 2010. The biggest, however, was the 2011 public offering for HCA, from which Bain Capital reportedly earned more than ten times its initial $64 million investment in the hospital operator in 2006. Another portfolio company, Toys "R" Us, also filed to go public.
Bain Capital also increased its acquisition activity as economic conditions improved. In 2011 the company arranged to take private China Fire & Security, a provider of industrial fire protection systems, for some $265 million. Along with Hellman & Friedman, it agreed to buy Swedish monitored alarm company Securitas Direct for more than $3 billion. Bain Capital also bought Australian accounting software firm MYOB for $1.2 billion and external defibrillator business Physio-Control for $497 million. It acquired Consolidated Container Company in 2012 and agreed to buy Atento Brasil from Telefonica for about $1.3 billion; Atento is among the largest call center operators in the world.
In 2010 Bain Capital teamed with Advent International and Berkshire Partners to acquire SkillSoft, a developer of corporate training programs, for some $1.1 billion. The two firms also partnered to acquire WorldPay from Royal Bank of Scotland for more than $3 billion. In other 2010 deals, Bain Capital acquired The Gymboree Corporation for approximately $1.8 billion and bought The Dow Chemical Company's Styron Division for some $1.6 billion.
Adding to its holdings in Asia, Bain Capital in 2010 purchased the master franchisee of Domino's Pizza in Japan and bought diesel engine components maker ASIMCO in China for undisclosed sums. In 2009 Bain Capital bought Bellsystem24, a Japan-based call center operator, from Citigroup Capital Partners Japan for $1.1 billion. The company also purchased a nearly 20% stake in Chinese home appliance retailer GOME Electrical Appliance Holdings for $440 million; the company can increase its interest to more than 25% if it chooses to exercise options on a series of convertible bonds. – less