Fortunoff sells stake to investment firm

WESTBURY , N.Y. — Fortunoff has sold a stake in its business to Trimaran Capital Partners and K Group, both New York-based private equity investment firms.

The company retained retail bank Peter J. Solomon Co. last spring to seek a financing partner so that it could expand its business. At the time, the company said that it expected to generate $500 million in sales this year.

The transaction is expected to be completed in December, according to the retailer, which declined to disclose the terms of the deal. The Fortunoff and Mayrock families — descendants of the company founders — will continue to hold their leadership roles in the 82-year-old company.

"To take it to the next level, we needed a partner who can provide capital and can mesh with our culture," said Louis Fortunoff, executive vice president. "Trimaran understands our corporate culture and is committed to our business plan, which includes significant expansion."

Fortunoff currently operates four full-line jewelry and home furnishings stores, two jewelry and giftware stores, and four Fortunoff Furniture Gallery stores in New York and New Jersey , as well as a clearance center in New York . Bank of American's Fleet Retail Group and Back Bay Capital Funding LLC have agreed to provide senior debt for the recapitalization, according to the retailer.

Trimaran has invested more than $1.2 billion in equity in more than 50 portfolio companies, including Urban Brands, which owns the plus-size apparel chain Ashley Stewart. K Group's principals have been actively involved as senior executive management or investors in direct importers, manufacturers, traditional and direct-to-consumer retailers, including fine jeweler Harry Winston and giftware retailer Things Remembered.

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