NEW YORK — Visual Comfort & Co. (“VCC”) announced a strategic investment from Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (“LGP”), alongside their existing investment partner AEA Investors. The investment will enable Visual Comfort & Co. to further expand its position as a resource for decorative and architectural lighting and ceiling fans. Andy Singer, who founded the business in 1987, will continue to serve in his current capacity as CEO and lead the company’s overall growth strategy.
“Our company has benefitted greatly during our association with AEA and we are excited to continue our partnership with such trusted advisors,” said Singer. “Similarly, we are fortunate to welcome LGP and Goldman Sachs as additional partners and look forward to their support as we build the Visual Comfort & Co. family of brands to new heights across the globe. We are convinced that the best is yet to come as we combine the outstanding experience and expertise of our capital partners to build upon our strong foundation.”
Visual Comfort & Co. established a family of brands in 2017 through the combination with Generation Brands, bringing together two leading platforms in the lighting industry. The merger unified the complementary strengths of each company to serve its customers across every style, application, and budget through a full portfolio of decorative and architectural lighting and ceiling fans. The company’s designer relationships and unique omni-channel model, including its dedicated resale partner Circa Lighting, provide strong connectivity to key influencers and consumers throughout the purchase journey.
Kris Galashan, Partner at LGP, said, “We are pleased to support Visual Comfort & Co. on their strategic evolution. We invest in companies that win with people, have a differentiated culture and are market leaders with multiple ways to grow – and VCC is the perfect example.”
Nicole Agnew, Partner in the Private Equity business in Goldman Sachs Asset Management, added, “We believe that our investment is an important validation of the strength of the business and look forward to working with a best-in-class management team to help accelerate growth to build a leading force in the global lighting industry.”
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Andy and the rest of the management team to build upon the success they have achieved,” said Brian Hoesterey, CEO, AEA Investors. “Visual Comfort & Co. represents a unique and differentiated model in the lighting industry and has significant runway for continued growth and value creation.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including requisite regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during the third quarter of 2021.
Harris Williams and Barclays served as financial advisors to Visual Comfort & Co. and AEA Investors, and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provided legal services. Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett LLP is advising Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal counsel to LGP.