Sun Capital cuts 12 more employees

The Florida-based turnaround firm’s job cuts and closure of its Tokyo office over the last several months are due in part to the stagnant deal environment.

Turnaround specialist Sun Capital Partners has let go of 12 more employees in its New York and Florida offices as part of an annual performance review process, continuing a spate of layoffs the firm has made since last year.

“Sun Capital made a modest reduction in our deal, operations and support staff by eliminating certain positions in our Boca Raton and New York offices,” the firm said in a statement. “Roughly half the positions were eliminated in our New York office following a change in leadership.”

Sun had earlier reduced staff in January when it cut 23 employees from its 200-person workforce. The firm said at the time the cuts were part of a refocusing on Sun Capital’s core practice of turning around distressed companies, as well as a shift in strategy by hedge fund affiliate Sun Capital Securities Fund – which took minority positions in public equities and distressed debt – to focus solely on distressed debt.

A source added that the layoffs were also driven by the slow deal environment. The firm followed up about a month later by closing its Tokyo office, eliminating the jobs of the eight investment professionals who worked there. Sun Capital said the decision was driven by the “challenging economic conditions in Japan and across Asia”.

However, the firm said it believes it “has an excellent team to lead us into the future”, adding that the economic environment is “perhaps the best buying environment since 1980”.

Sun, which established in 1995, is led by co-chief executives Rodger Krouse and Marc Leder, both of whom worked as senior vice presidents at Lehman Brothers before co-founding the firm.

The firm, which is investing from its $6 billion fifth fund, has had some trouble with portfolio companies in the downturn. Specifically, Sun Capital-backed Mervyns filed for bankruptcy in July 2008 and moved to liquidation in October after failing to attract any buyers.