|Founders||Michael Chu, Scott Dahnke, Frank Vest|
|Headquarters||Greenwich, Connecticut, United States|
|Products||Private equity funds, Leveraged buyouts|
|Total assets||$4.0 billion|
Catterton is a private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, and growth capital investments in middle-market companies. The firm historically focuses on several consumer industries in the food and beverage; retail and restaurants; and consumer products (both durable and non-durable) markets.
Founded in 1989 and based in Greenwich, Connecticut, Catterton employs more than 43 investment professionals.
Catterton was founded in 1989 as Catterton-Simon Partners by Frank Vest and Michael Chu, along with former US Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon. Simon, the chairman of private investment company, Wesray Capital Corporation, had gained prominence as a buyout investor in the early 1980s after the acquisition of Gibson Greetings, a producer of greeting cards. The success of the Gibson Greetings investment and the subsequent buyout of Atlas Van Lines were among the first deals to attract the attention of the wider media to the nascent boom in leveraged buyouts.
Since its inception, Catterton has raised seven private equity funds. In its first five years, Catterton focused exclusively buyouts, acquisitions, recapitalizations and turnarounds in the beverage industry. As the firm matured, its focus widened to encompass a larger array of consumer products companies and the firm has made substantial investments in retail and restaurant businesses most notably with the acquisition of OSI Restaurant Partners (Outback Steakhouse) (Restoration Hardware) and most recently Noodles & Company.
- Catterton-Simon Partners I - $11.25 million (1990)
- Catterton-Simon Partners II - $50 million (1993)
- Catterton-Simon Partners III - $100 million (1996)
- Catterton Partners IV - $400 million (2000)
- Catterton Partners V - $650 million (2004)
- Catterton Partners VI - $1.0 billion (2006)
- Catterton Growth Partners - $300 million, focused on growth capital (2008)
- Catterton Partners VII - $1.6 billion (2013)
- Catterton Growth Partners II - $400 million, focused on growth capital (2013)
With its fourth fund, the firm dropped "Simon" from the name after severing direct investment ties with William E. Simon whose firm William E. Simon & Sons had migrated primarily toward investments in late-stage venture capital. Although Simon remained an investor in Catterton funds, he did not serve as an investment professional.
The following are some of Catterton's current and former portfolio companies (as of spring-2011):
- Build-A-Bear Workshop
- P. F. Chang's China Bistro
- Kettle Foods
- Frédéric Fekkai
- Plum Organics
- Caribou Coffee
- Wellness Pet Food
- Funds raised since inception
- Taylor, Alexander L. "Buyout Binge". TIME magazine, Jul. 16, 1984.
- "Catterton Closes $300 Million Consumer Growth Fund". New York Times Deal Book, May 2, 2008
- "Parent of Outback Steakhouse Is Sold in $3.2 Billion Deal". New York Times, November 7, 2006
- "Sears Bids $269 Million for Restoration Hardware". New York Times, November 27, 2007
- "‘Go Shop’ or No Shop? Sears Criticizes Restoration Board". New York Times Deal Book, November 26, 2007
- "Whither the Restoration Hardware Buyout?". New York Times, February 21, 2008
- "COMPANY NEWS; HERSHEY WILL SELL CHUCKLES AND SOME OTHER BRANDS". New York Times, May 7, 2002
- Nature's Variety