Leonard Green & Partners
|Privately held company|
|Founder||Leonard I. Green|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, United States|
Number of employees
Leonard Green & Partners ("LGP") is a leading American private equity investment firm founded in 1989 and based in Los Angeles. The firm partners with experienced management teams and often with founders to invest in market-leading companies. Since inception, LGP has invested in over 80 companies in the form of traditional buyouts, going-private transactions, recapitalizations, growth equity, and selective public equity and debt positions. The firm primarily focuses on companies providing services, including consumer, business, and healthcare services, as well as retail. LGP’s most recent fund, Green Equity Investors VII, L.P. (“GEI VII”), closed in 2016 with $9.6 billion of committed capital.
Leonard Green was founded by Leonard I. Green in 1989 after separating from Gibbons, Green and van Amerongen Ltd. (Gibbons Green), a merchant bank which he had co-founded in 1969 with Edward I. Gibbons and Lewis W. van Amerongen. The firm's eponymous founder, Leonard I. Green died in 2002, leaving the firm to be run by John G. Danhakl, Peter J. Nolan and Jonathan D. Sokoloff (who had been Green's bankers at Drexel Burnham Lambert and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette prior to joining the firm).
The firm's predecessor, Gibbons Green had completed over 29 transactions with an aggregate purchase price of over $3.5 billion from 1969 through its dissolution in 1989 and was among the earliest practitioners of the leveraged buyout and management buyout. Among its most notable transactions were the purchase of Budget Rent a Car (1986) from Transamerica in 1986 as well as the acquisition of Kash n' Karry Food Stores. The firm completed the 1982 buyout of Purex Industries but had to withdraw from the 1987 buyout of insurer Argonaut due to the stock market crash in that year.
- Ohio Mattress Company – On March 7, 1989, Ohio Mattress Company, known for its Sealy and Stearns & Foster brands, was sold to Gibbons Green for $1.1 billion, a price that many observers at the time believed too high. In August 1989, the junk bond market collapsed, leaving First Boston unable to redeem hundreds of millions it had lent for the leveraged buyout of Ohio Mattress. The amount lent, $457 million, was 40 percent of First Boston’s equity capital and the bank was forced to seek a bailout from Credit Suisse, leading subsequently to the takeover of First Boston and the formation of CS First Boston. The incident became known as "The Burning Bed" and ultimately Gibbons Green was forced to offer a significant equity stake in the company in order to secure financing.
- Sheller-Globe Corporation – Gibbons, Green bought Sheller-Globe jointly with United Technologies from Knoll International. When the company faced an immediate cash squeeze, United Technologies stepped in to buy out the shares owned by Gibbons Green. With no other options, Gibbons Green realized a $30 million loss on its investment. Gibbons Green accused Knoll of providing misleading or incomplete information, however observers believed the firm had not conducted proper due diligence.
Leonard Green is currently investing its sixth fund, Green Equity Investors VI, L.P. with $6.25 billion of committed capital. Prior to that it had invested its fifth fund, Green Equity Investors V, LP, which it completed fundraising in March 2007 with over $5.3 billion of investor commitments. The firm's fifth fund was nearly three times the size of its previous fund, the $1.85 billion Green Equity Investors IV, LP. Leonard Green had previously raised $1.24 billion for its third fund in 1998, $311 million for its second fund in 1994 and $216 million for its debut fund in 1990. At the end of 2007, Leonard Green was ranked #32 among the 50 largest private equity firms globally.
Founded in 1989, Leonard Green & Partners has invested in 62 companies with aggregate value of $54.6 billion. Among the firm's historical investments are the following:
- Rite Aid, 1999
- Big 5 Sporting Goods, 1992
- Petco, (2000, 2006) Leonard Green and TPG Capital invested $200 million to acquire the pet supplies retailer as part of a $600 million buyout. Within two years they sold most of it in a public offering that valued the company at $1 billion. Petco’s market value more than doubled by the end of 2004 and the firms would ultimately realize a gain of $1.2 billion. Then, in 2006, the private equity firms took Petco private again for $1.68 billion.
- Leslie's Poolmart, June 1997
- Sports Authority, February 2003
- Varsity Brands, April 2003.
- FTD Group, Inc., October 2003. Leonard Green announced a $445.4 million going private acquisition of FTD in which the firm invested $179.0 million. On February 8, 2005, FTD completed an initial public offering.
- David's Bridal, November 2006
- Priscilla of Boston, April 2007
- The Container Store, July 2007
- Whole Foods Market, November 2008 
- AerSale, January 2010
- Lucky Brand Jeans, in December 2013, for $225 million from Kate Spade & Company
- Motorsports Aftermarket Group
- Jo-Ann Stores, 2010, for $1.6b 
- BJ's Wholesale Club (2011)
- "Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2017-10-03.
- "Leonard Green and Partners | Leading private equity investment firm based in Los Angeles". www.leonardgreen.com. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
- "Purex Merger Is Approved". The New York Times. 1982-08-12. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- Special to the New York TimesPublished: December 23, 1987 (1987-12-23). "COMPANY NEWS; Gibbons Cancels Argonaut Buyout". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Bartlett, Sarah (1989-11-06). "Wall Street's Treacherous Side". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Bartlett, Sarah (1989-10-13). "Filing Discloses Dispute Over Sale of Sheller-Globe". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Published: May 05, 1989 (1989-05-05). "Gibbons, Green Separation". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Eichenwald, Kurt (1990-04-27). "COMPANY NEWS; Sealy Holdings Agrees To Financing Terms". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "The Burning Bed". BusinessWeek, May 1990.
- Barlett, Sarah (1989-11-03). "Two at Knoll Sued Over Sale of Subsidiary". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Source: Preqin
- Tracy, Tennille (2007-03-28). "Leonard Green: Keeping Up With the Jones - Deal Journal - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "Rite Aid Sets an Extension on Payment of $1.3 Billion in Debt". New York Times. 1999-10-28. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "COMPANY NEWS; MANAGEMENT-LED GROUP TO BUY PETCO FOR $505 MILLION". New York Times. 2000-05-18. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "2 Equity Firms to Acquire Petco". The New York Times. 2006-07-15.
- "LESLIE'S POOLMART TAKEN PRIVATE IN $140 MILLION DEAL - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 1997-06-13. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Steinhauer, Jennifer (1998-07-03). "Gart Offers $445.2 Million For 70% of Sports Authority". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "Company News; Sports Authority And Gart Sports Agree To Merge". New York Times. 2003-02-21. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "COMPANY NEWS; UNIFORM MAKER AGREES TO $131 MILLION BUYOUT". New York Times. 2003-04-23. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "COMPANY NEWS - GREEN EQUITY INVESTORS TO BUY FTD FOR $420 MILLION". The New York Times. 2003-10-07. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
- "Today In Business - Federated Sells Bridal Unit - NYTimes.com". New York Times. 2006-11-18. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Wilson, Eric (2007-04-26). "Lifting the Veil on Seventh". The New York Times.
- Hughes, Elaine (2007-07-02). "Private firm buys Container Store". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "Whole Foods Market Announces $425 million Equity Investment by Leonard Green & Partners, L.P." (PDF). Holefoodsmarket.com. November 5, 2008.
- "AerSale Holdings, Inc. Completes $250 Million Equity Raise With Leonard Green & Partners, L.P." PRNewswire. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- Young, Vicki M. (10 December 2013). "Fifth & Pacific Has Sold Lucky Brand for $225M". WWD. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- "Jo-Ann Stores to Be Acquired by Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. for $61.00 Per Share in Cash | Business Wire". www.businesswire.com. Retrieved 2016-12-02.