• Jay McIntosh

Bain to buy majority stake in Bob's Discount Furniture

Manchester, Conn. - Bob's Discount Furniture soon will have a new equity owner in Bain Capital but will retain its existing executive team, company officials announced last week.
     Bob's management will continue to own a significant stake in the company after the pending sale to Bain by private equity firm KarpReilly/Apax, which has held a majority stake in the retailer for nine years.
     Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter.
     Manchester, Conn.-based Bob's ranks No. 16 on Furniture/Today's Top 100 based on estimated 2012 sales of $685.3 million and has 47 stores in nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states.
    The Wall Street Journal had reported in October that Apax was looking for a buyer and suggested the price could top $350 million.
    "We are thrilled to partner with Bain Capital, a firm that has been investing in great retail businesses and consumer brands for decades," said Bob's CEO Ted English. "Bain Capital brings the experience and resources we need to support our continued expansion to serve more customers in more places, and to provide opportunities for advancement for our people."
     Bain has invested in a variety of retail and consumer businesses including Michaels Stores, Dunkin' Brands Group, Bombardier Recreational Products and Samsonite International. In home furnishings, Bain was once an owner of Sealy and is an investor in International Market Centers, which owns the lion's share of showroom properties at the High Point and Las Vegas markets.
     "We are excited to partner with Ted English and the great management team at Bob's Discount Furniture to support continued growth in this dynamic business," said Tricia Patrick, a principal at Bain Capital.
     Bob's and Bain Capital officials also said they share a commitment to community involvement, supporting the communities where its stores are located through a variety of charitable efforts.
     Founded in 1991 by Bob Kaufman and Gene Rosenberg, the founders sold a majority stake in the company in 2005 to the private equity firm Saunders, Karp & Megrue, which was later acquired by Apax.
     Bob's has been a stalwart on Furniture/Today's annual Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores ranking, posting growth even during the recent recession years. From 18 stores with an estimated $163.8 million in sales in 2002, the company more than tripled in size by 2012 to 43 stores and $685.3 million in sales.
     In just the past five years, from 2007 to 2012, its business has jumped nearly 64% as the company added stores and entered new markets, including the Washington, D.C., metro area. Bob's also opened stores in 2013 in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
     Co-founder Rosenberg was inducted in October into the American Furniture Hall of Fame for accomplishments including his work with Bob's and with Gene Rosenberg Associates, the high-impact sales group that he co-founded in 1962 and is now Planned Furniture Promotions.

Jay McIntoshJay McIntosh | News Editor, Furniture Today

Hi! I'm Jay McIntosh, news editor at Furniture/Today, and it's my job to keep track of the issues and events of the day. I'll use this space to offer comments or insights that I hope will bring something new to the table. I welcome your responses and suggestions.

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