Buyout pair seal retail exit to Madison Dearborn

Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Company and GB Merchant Partners have exited their investment in gift chain Things Remembered, ‘an extremely complicated transaction’ according to GBMP partner Jamie Dworkin.

Bruckmann Rosser Sherrill & Company and GB Merchant Partners have sold speciality retailer Things Remembered to Madison Dearborn Partners for $295 million after purchasing the company for $200 million.

Things Remembered sells personalised gifts through its 650 stores and website, and was purchased from Cole National Group, a subsidiary of Luxottica Group, in 2006.

“This was an extremely complicated transaction,” GBMP partner Jamie Dworkin said in a statement. “It involved a carve-out from a large corporate parent, and the repositioning and re-merchandising of a 50-year-old, specialty retailer.”

GBMP and BRS were not available for comment at press time. Madison Dearborn Partners declined to comment.

The deal for Things Remembered marks BRS’ second exit this year following the $60 million sale in March of its stake in Ruth’s Hospitality Group, which runs Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse chain of restaurants. BRS realized a gross multiple of invested capital of approximately 2.6x and a gross internal rate of return of 60 percent on its investment.

Last year, BRS vowed to raise a fourth fund amid the perception among some sources that it would be unable to raise a new fund following its failure to reach half its target for its third vehicle. The investment period on Fund III runs to late 2013.

Things Remembered represents GBMP’s first exit of 2012, according to its website. The private equity arm of Gordon Brothers Group, GBMP makes majority and minority investments in mid-market companies in the consumer products and retail sectors. The firm invests from the 1903 Equity Fund, a 2007 vintage fund with $275 million of committed capital. The group typically invests in partnership with management teams to finance management buy-outs, fund growth, or facilitate restructurings or turnarounds.

Madison Dearborn invests in the consumer, financial services, healthcare and telecom, media and technology services sectors and is currently investing its sixth fund that closed on $4.1 billion in 2010. The firm recently partnered with specialist investor CoVant Management to invest in technology companies servicing the US federal government in areas including information technology, cyber security and intelligence.