New York – July 23, 2021 – AEA Investors’ (“AEA” or the “Firm”) Middle Market Private Equity team announced today that its fund has completed the sale of Visual Comfort & Co. (“VCC” or the “Company”) to two financial sponsors. As part of the transaction, AEA will retain an equity interest in VCC, structured as an equal partnership among the two financial sponsors and AEA. VCC is the premier branded resource for decorative and architectural lighting and ceiling fans serving residential and commercial markets.
Visual Comfort & Co. established a family of brands in 2017 through the combination with Generation Brands, bringing together two leading platforms in the lighting industry. The merger unified the complementary strengths of each company to serve customers across every style, application and budget through a full portfolio of decorative and architectural lighting and ceiling fans. The Company’s designer relationships and unique omni-channel model, including its dedicated resale partner Circa Lighting, provide strong connectivity to key influencers and consumers throughout the purchase journey. Over the course of AEA’s investment period, VCC was able to scale its omni-channel model to drive a greater portion of sales through direct channels, optimize its product assortment and brand strategy and drive significant investments in infrastructure, supply chain and operational excellence programs. These initiatives enabled VCC to consistently achieve above-market growth, and the Company remains well-positioned to continue to drive share in a favorable macroeconomic environment. This transaction underscores the Firm’s success in partnering with founder management teams and leveraging expertise in building products and consumer retail to build a differentiated platform in the industry.
AEA Investors LP was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon, and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. as a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices with substantial assets. AEA has an extraordinary global network built over many years which includes leading industrial families, business executives, and leaders; many of whom invest with AEA as active individual investors and/or join its portfolio company boards or act in other advisory roles. Today, AEA’s approximately 100 investment professionals operate globally with offices in New York, Connecticut, San Francisco, London, Munich and Shanghai. The firm manages funds that have over $15 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small business companies, growth capital and mezzanine and senior debt investments.
About Visual Comfort & Co.
Since 1987, Visual Comfort & Co. has been the premier resource for signature designer lighting. For nearly 30 years, Visual Comfort & Co. has produced lighting with some of the most influential names in design using natural materials of exceptional quality and distinctive, hand-applied, living finishes. Visual Comfort & Co. offers a broad assortment of lighting featuring many prominent designs synonymous with high style and functionality.
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Jon Keehner, Julie Oakes and Kate Thompson
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