F+W Sells Majority Stake to Private Investment Firm Tinicum
Management team to remain in place.
On the heels of announcing a corporate rebranding, F+W has sold a majority stake to Tinicum L.P., a New York-based private investment firm.
Terms of the deal were not released, but F+W says it has grown its e-commerce business—described by chairman and CEO David Nussbaum as a "very meaningful percentage" of the company’s overall revenue—from $6 million in 2008 to about $60 million this year.
Update: According to F+W COO/CFO Jim Ogle, the deal includes an initial investment for a 62 percent stake that could go up to 95 percent, depending on the results of a tender offer that went out last Friday. Current stockholders have 20 days to respond. "We expect some holders to retain their share in the business so final Tinicum ownership will end up somewhere in between [that] range," he says.
Nussbuam and the existing executive committee will remain in place, but a new board will be selected, with Nussbaum continuing as chairman.
Update: There will be no other staffing changes as a result of the deal.
"Tinicum’s investment will bolster F+W’s ability to aggressively target both bolt-on and larger-scale acquisitions to build out its core categories of craft, art, writing, design, lifestyle and outdoors," says Nussbaum in a statement.
The company has been fairly acquisitive in the last couple years, buying The Martha Pullen Company, Aspire Media and New Track Media, among others. It also expanded its licensing agreement with Hubert Burda Media into a 50/50 joint venture this year.
In 2010, F+W underwent a significant financial restructuring, reducing debt by 50 percent. Lead investor at the time Abry Partners subsequently had a much smaller share in the company as the management team took on a larger ownership stake.
Update: The ownership structure had not changed much since then, aside from some equity issued to private equity firms Frontenac and Catalyst as the result of the Aspire Media deal, says Ogle, who says the new ownership structure will likely be more consolidated once the tender offer is complete.