JW Childs buys Brookstone for $417m

The Boston-based private equity firm is taking private specialty retail chain Brookstone, alongside two Singaporean partners.

JW Childs Associates is leading a consortium, including Singapore-based healthy lifestyle products company OSIM International and Singapore-based investment company Temasek Holdings, to take private gadget retailer and airport staple Brookstone. The $417 million (€323 million) deal offers public shareholders $20.50 per outstanding share.

“This transaction offers great value to our stockholders and tremendous opportunity,” Michael Anthony, president and chief executive officer of Brookstone, said in a statement. The news helped the retailer’s stock, which jumped to $16.30 during Friday trading, from Thursday’s close of $15.60. 

Brookstone has 288 stores in shopping malls and airports throughout the US and Puerto Rico. The chain sells “unique and innovative consumer products,” including ergonomic deck furniture, motorized piggybanks and a number of vibrating message chairs.

JW Childs Equity Partners III has $1.75 billion in committed capital from financial institutions, pension funds, insurance companies and university endowments. John Childs, formerly senior managing director at Thomas H. Lee Partners, founded the firm in 1995 and is its current president. The firm has also invested in brand-name businesses like Equinox fitness clubs, Joseph Abboud menswear, sugar substitute Nutrasweet and fruit drink Sunny Delight.

OSIM is a Singapore Exchange-listed company trading in healthy lifestyle products. Temasek is a investment firm with international portfolio worth S$90 billion ($54 billion).

The deal comes as private equity firms are increasingly looking to retail portfolio companies. Last week, Minneapolis, Minnesota-based private equity firm Goldner, Hawn, Johnson & Morrison bought the ShopKo Stores chain for $1 billion, including about $330 million in debt. In March, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Bain Capital and Vornado Realty Trust purchased the Toys R Us chain for around $7 billion.