No red socks here, but private equity firm Fenway Partners does boast an eclectic portfolio of midsized companies valued between $100 million and $600 million in the consumer products and logistics sectors, among others. Its holdings include stakes in Easton-Bell Sports (maker of official NFL helmets), scholastic memorabilia maker American Achievement, and temperature-controlled logistics provider Refrigerated Holdings. Upon making its investment in a company, Fenway Partners provides management and strategy advice to boost performance. Despite its name, the company has offices in New York and Los Angeles, but not in Boston, home of baseball's Fenway Park.
Based in New York, Fenway Partners currently follows a US-centric investment strategy.
Fenway Partners has $1.6 billion in capital under management on behalf of institutional investors such as retirement funds, insurance companies, and investment partnerships. The company usually holds onto its investments for four to six years.
The firm invests in niche businesses that boast an enterprise value of between $100 million and $600 million. It's focused primarily on two sectors: consumer branded products and transportation/logistics/distribution. Fenway Partners aims to leverage its expertise and network of resources to help its portfolio companies boost performance and achieve their goals. It works closely with portfolio company management to strengthen strategies, increase productivity, and accelerate profitable growth.
The company, which typically makes equity investments of between $50 million and $75 million, is focused on growing portfolio companies to return capital to its limited partners. Fenway Partners' investments help portfolio companies with innovation activities, new product development, and brand building, and with expanding distribution, training, or sales assets.
Relatively quiet since it sat out the recession, Fenway Partners is seeking out investments in e-commerce and direct-to-consumer retailing.
In 2013 the company decided to get money from investors on a deal-by-deal basis rather than raising a new fund. It also cashed out of its investment in charter bus operator Coach America.
Looking to find a buyer in 2014 for its entire Easton-Bell Sports holding, Fenway Partners' efforts were stalled from liabilities associated with gridiron concussions, as its Riddell-brand helmets are worn by a majority of NFL players. It later changed its strategy, generating solid interest in selling the company's growing Easton baseball and softball helmet and bat business. To this end, publicly traded Bauer Performance Sports picked up the Easton business for $330 million in early 2014.
To raise cash, in 2012 the company sold 1-800 CONTACTS to WellPoint, Inc.
Fenway Partners also sold its interest in trucking concern Panther Expedited Services to Arkansas Best (later renamed ArcBest) in 2012.
The company was founded in 1994 by managing directors Peter Lamm and Richard Dresdale.