RICHMOND (Virginia) Incooperation with Visual Comfort 26 Co., the investment is made. The HarrisWilliams Consumer Group's Corey Benjamin, John Neuner, and Zach Ledwith and theBuilding Products%26 Materials Group's Graham Rives are leading the deal. TheSingers refute any claims that this decision will cause Visual Comfort to loseits brand's appeal and emphasize that both businesses have always emphasized,but never been exclusively devoted to commerce. Visual Comfort speculated thatGale had established a modest but successful network of Circa Lightingshowrooms that focused on selling.
The union of VisualComfort and Generation Brands creates the dominant platform in the mid-tier andpremium home lighting categories by combining two of the market's topdecorative lighting platforms. According to the Singers, centering the businesson the Visual Comfort brand will enhance brand recognition among consumers andmake it simpler for designers to clinch sales with their clients. Although bothbusinesses have become well-known in the design world, there has always beensome ambiguity regarding the link between Circa and Visual Comfort in a fieldthat is already highly fragmented. It's also true that making Visual Comfort amore well-known brand among homeowners may make it appear less like a"trade-in" item to interior designers.
The acquisition allowscollaboration with creator and president Andy Singer, who over the past 30years has elevated Visual Comfort to the top tier of decorative lightingbrands. With a broad range of aesthetic preferences and competitive pricing,Visual Comfort is the market leader in designer decorative lighting. TheSingers contend that with the launch of a new site in their region, theirretail shoppers will receive even more secondary shine since the entire firm isnow concentrated on the Visual Comfort brand. The mid-market private equitygroup at AEA Investors revealed today that its fund has purchased VisualComfort Co.
Visual Comfort Group'sCEO Andy Singer will be present when the company unveils more than 350brand-new designs at the Light ovation show, which will begin in January.Visual Comfort offers a wide range of lighting in several exceptional designsthat are known for their excellent style and usability. There has been somemisunderstanding over whether Circa is a manufacturer, a retailer, or both (itis a retailer) and whether Visual Comfort is exclusive to the retailer (it is not)in more than one interaction with a designer, even among regular customers ofthe two companies.
28 February 2017; NewYork Visual Comfort & Co. ("Visual Comfort" or the"Firm") has been purchased by AEA Investors' ("AEA" or the"Firm") Middle Market Private Equity team, which will combine it withanother portfolio company, Generation Brands, to become Visual Comfort Group(the "Combined Company").
A premier platform inthe mid-tier and premium home lighting segments has been created by the unionof Visual Comfort and Generation Brands, two of the industry's top decorativelighting platforms. The global leader in decorative designer lighting, VisualComfort offers a wide range of aesthetic preferences at high price points. A"total space solution" in decorative lighting is produced by thecombination of Generation Brands and high-quality lighting products that coverthe whole spectrum of pricing points and design aesthetics. The acquisitionoffers the chance to collaborate with Visual Comfort's founder and president,Andy Singer, who over the past 30 years has transformed the company into amarket leader in decorative lighting.
The Rockefeller,Mellon, and Harriman family interests as well as S.G. Warburg & Co. createdAEA Investors LP in 1968 as a private investment vehicle for a select group ofindustrial family offices with significant assets. Leading industrial families,business executives, and leaders are part of AEA's extraordinary globalnetwork, which has been developed over many years. Many of these individualsinvest with AEA as active individual investors ("Participants")and/or serve on the boards of its portfolio companies or in other advisorycapacities. Today, AEA's 65 or so investment specialists work out of offices inShanghai, New York, Connecticut, London, Munich, and London. The companymanages funds with about $10 billion in invested and committed money, includingmezzanine and senior loan investments as well as leveraged buyouts of middlemarket and small business enterprises. Value-added industrials, consumers, andservices are the three sectors in which AEA Private Equity makes investments.
One of the toplighting firms in the country, Generation Brands provides products to lighting shopsas well as the electrical wholesale, home improvement, and constructionsectors. With excellent customer service, cutting-edge design, and greatquality, Generation Brands' impressive line of residential and commerciallighting fixtures and ceiling fans add value for its clients and end users.
Visual Comfort &Co. has been the go-to source for distinctive designer lighting since 1987.Visual Comfort has created lighting with some of the most renowned designersfor almost 30 years utilizing premium-quality natural materials anddistinctive, hand-applied, live finishes. A wide range of lighting options fromVisual Comfort includes numerous well-known designs that are representative ofboth great style and utility.
Through the merger ofGeneration Brands and Visual Comfort & Co. in 2017, which brought togethertwo of the top platforms in the lighting business, a family of brands wascreated. Through a broad selection of decorative and architectural lighting andceiling fans, the merger brought together the complementing qualities of eachbusiness to better serve its consumers in every style, application, and pricerange. Strong connections to important influencers and customers are madepossible through the company's designer partnerships and distinctive omni channelbusiness model, including its committed reseller partner Circa Lighting.
Partner at LGP KrisGalashan remarked, "We are happy to help Visual Comfort & Co. as theydevelop their strategy. We invest in businesses that are industry leaders withmany growth opportunities, win with people, and have distinctive cultures, ofwhich VCC is the ideal example."
"We believe thatour investment is an important validation of the strength of the business andlook forward to working with a best-in-class management team to help accelerategrowth and build a leading force in the global lighting industry," saidNicole Agnew, Partner in the Private Equity business at Goldman Sachs AssetManagement.
According to BrianHoesterey, CEO of AEA Investors, "We are happy to extend our cooperationwith Andy and the rest of the management team to build upon the success theyhave achieved." In the lighting sector, "Visual Comfort & Co. hasa distinctive and differentiating approach and has a tremendous runway forsustained growth and wealth generation."
The transaction isanticipated to occur in the third quarter of 2021, subject to usual closingconditions, including necessary regulatory approvals.
Visual Comfort &Co. and AEA Investors received financial advice from Barclays and HarrisWilliams, and legal counsel from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & JacobsonLLP. Goldman Sachs Asset Management is being counseled by Simpson Thatcher& Bartlett LLP. LGP is being represented by Latham & Watkins LLP.