Additional capital will accelerate growth of market leader in decorative and architectural lighting
NEW YORK, June 10, 2021 — Visual Comfort & Co. (“VCC”), the premier resource for signature designer lighting, announced today a strategic investment from Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (“LGP”), alongside their existing investment partner AEA Investors. The investment will enable Visual Comfort & Co. to further expand its leading position as the industry’s preeminent branded resource for decorative and architectural lighting and ceiling fans. Andy Singer, who founded the business in 1987, will continue to serve in his current capacity as CEO and lead the company’s overall growth strategy.
“Our company has benefitted greatly during our association with AEA and we are excited to continue our partnership with such trusted advisors,” said Mr. Singer. “Similarly, we are fortunate to welcome LGP and Goldman Sachs as additional partners and look forward to their support as we build the Visual Comfort & Co. family of brands to new heights across the globe. We are convinced that the best is yet to come as we combine the outstanding experience and expertise of our capital partners to build upon our strong foundation.”
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 its 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.
Kris Galashan, Partner at LGP, said, “We are pleased to support Visual Comfort & Co. on their strategic evolution. We invest in companies that win with people, have a differentiated culture and are market leaders with multiple ways to grow – and VCC is the perfect example.”
Nicole Agnew, Partner in the Private Equity business in Goldman Sachs Asset Management, added, “We believe that our investment is an important validation of the strength of the business and look forward to working with a best-in-class management team to help accelerate growth to build a leading force in the global lighting industry.”
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Andy and the rest of the management team to build upon the success they have achieved,” said Brian Hoesterey, CEO, AEA Investors. “Visual Comfort & Co. represents a unique and differentiated model in the lighting industry and has significant runway for continued growth and value creation.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including requisite regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during the third quarter of 2021.
Harris Williams and Barclays served as financial advisors to Visual Comfort & Co. and AEA Investors, and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provided legal services. Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP is advising Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal counsel to LGP.
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.
ABOUT AEA INVESTORS LP
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 and mezzanine and senior debt investments.
ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS ASSET MANAGEMENT
Goldman Sachs Asset Management is the primary investing arm of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS). We provide investment and advisory services for some of the world’s leading institutions, financial advisors and individuals. We invest across public and private markets through one world-class investing platform with more than $2 trillion in assets under supervision. Founded in 1869, Goldman Sachs is a leading global financial institution that delivers financial services across investment banking, securities, investment management and consumer banking to a large and diversified client base. Visit www.gsam.com for more information. Follow us on LinkedIn.
LGP is a leading 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 100 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, distribution and industrials. LGP has raised over $40 billion of committed capital since inception.
Joe Miller – Chief Financial Officer | Chief of Staff
Visual Comfort & Co.
SOURCE AEA Investors