A selection of investments made by Fairmont is as follows:
- Stampede Meat, Inc. Stampede, with over $500 million in annual sales, is a leading supplier of value-added beef products for a nationwide blue-chip customer base that includes leading national restaurant chains, quick service restaurants, foodservice distributors, home delivery networks and grocery retailers. Headquartered in Bridgeview, Illinois, Stampede customizes over 125 million pounds annually of protein products to specifications which include portion size, tenderizing, seasoning, marinating, breading, cooking, and packaging. Stampede has achieved tremendous growth through its comprehensive focus on customer service, high quality product offerings, food safety, and state-of-the art production capabilities. Fairmont worked closely with the founding family to structure an acquisition of the company to provide growth capital as well as liquidity for shareholders. Stampede was subsequently sold to a financial buyer. www.stampedemeat.com
- Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp (Now Soup Plantation). Now renamed Soup Plantation, the company is the nation’s leading “salad bar” restaurant chain. Headquartered in San Diego, California, with annual sales in excess of $225 million, Soup Plantation operates 97 restaurants under the names Souplantation in the Southern California market and Sweet Tomatoes in Northern California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, and North Carolina. Fairmont acquired Soup Plantation in a “going-private” transaction which allowed shareholders to receive both liquidity and a premium not possible in a micro-cap public company. The transaction also allowed the management team to concentrate on long-term growth rather than short-term stock market fluctuations. Soup Plantation was subsequently sold to a financial buyer. https://souplantation.com/
- VICORP Restaurants, Inc (Now Villiage Inn Restaurants). Now renamed Village Inn, the company is a major family-style restaurant chain, based in Denver, Colorado, with annual sales in excess of $375 million. Approximately 260 corporate and 120 franchised restaurants operate under the names Village Inn and Baker’s Square with concentrations in the Rocky Mountain region and the upper Midwest. The company also manufactures high quality, fresh-baked pies through VICOM, its bakery division, with three plants in California, Illinois, and Minnesota. This “going-private” transaction allowed management to concentrate on long-term growth rather than short-term market fluctuations. Village Inn/VICORP was subsequently sold to a financial buyer. https://www.villageinn.com/
- Shari’s Management Corporation Based in Beaverton, Oregon, Shari’s is a leading Pacific Northwest chain of family-style restaurants. With over 95 restaurants and annual revenues in excess of $150 million, Shari’s has established itself as a regional market leader by combining quality food and pleasant surroundings with good value, efficient service and 24-hour accessibility. Shari’s has historically generated steady growth and profitability through various economic cycles under the direction of its experienced management team and enjoys a loyal base of repeat customers. This acquisition repositioned the company for strategic growth through new business concepts, unit additions, and the acquisition of competitors. Shari’s was subsequently sold to a group of financial buyers. www.sharis.com
- Expressions Furniture, Inc. This acquisition was a financial and operational turnaround of this fashion-forward furniture company. Based jointly in Tupelo, Mississippi and Anaheim, California, Expressions is vertically integrated: owning a major upholstery manufacturing plant and operating a national retail network of franchised showrooms. Acquired on the brink of financial collapse, Expressions required a complete rework of its manufacturing and franchising operations. The successful restructuring of the company generated significant operating profits. Expressions was subsequently sold to a strategic acquiror. www.expressions-furniture.com
- Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. IAAI, previously named Los Angeles Auto Salvage, Inc. was founded in the San Fernando Valley of California. This unique company provides insurance companies with a cost-effective, turnkey means to process and sell total loss and recovered theft vehicles – in simpler terms, it is an auction house for wrecked cars. Post-acquisition, the company’s business formula was significantly refined, cash flow was enhanced, and a new strategy of growth through the acquisition and consolidation of competitors in other geographic areas was developed. To facilitate this rapid growth strategy, a very successful initial public offering was executed and the company’s name was changed to Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. The company has become the largest buyer and reseller (via auction) of insurance company automobile salvage in the United States, with over $500 million in sales and 450,000 vehicles processed per year. After a very successful initial public offering, Fairmont’s investment in IAAI was sold via the public market. www.iaai.com
- The White Pine Company, Ltd. Based in Middleton, Wisconsin, this mail order apparel company operated under the catalog tradename of Winter Silks. At acquisition, the company’s primary product was “silk longjohns” produced in China. Our interest in White Pine was sold via a financial recapitalization. www.wintersilks.com
- Krause’s Sofa Factory Based in Orange County, California, Krause’s was an integrated retailer and manufacturer of mid-priced upholstery. The company was acquired from its aging founder, who was no longer effectively leading the organization. Post-acquisition, the company was evolved into a professionally managed company with a well-defined growth strategy. Consequently, the company grew from $55 million to $120 million in annual sales, increased its retail locations from 54 to 92 stores, expanded nation-wide, built a new factory, and acquired the operations of several competitors. One of the key acquisitions constituted a major operational turnaround of a New York-based retailer and manufacturer of sofabeds, Castro Convertibles Corporation. Founded in 1931, Castro Convertibles was the first to introduce the modern sofabed mechanism, and in the post-World War II era became one of the largest furniture retailers on the East Coast. However, after the death of its founder, the company declined rapidly. Upon acquisition, the company was completely restructured – with remodeled showrooms, new sales and marketing programs, and consolidation of manufacturing plants. The restructuring returned Castro Convertibles to profitability, and the company again expanded its retail operations.
During the time Krause’s was part of Fairmont’s portfolio, Krause’s was recapitalized several times and was eventually taken public as Krause’s Furniture, Inc. The investment in Krause’s was sold via the public market.