Retail Reckoning: How Private Equity Is Boosting Some Brands And Crushing Others

by MR Magazine Staff

It was the distinctive patch that caught his attention. Boston was enduring a particularly brutal winter in 2013 when Ryan Cotton began to notice a trend on his daily walk to work near Copley Square: the suddenly growing number of sharp-looking parkas with a logo showing a polar cap surrounded by flaming red maple leaves. Craning his neck for a closer look one day, Cotton, a managing director overseeing investments in consumer brands at the private equity firm Bain Capital, was intrigued all the more by the reference on the logo to an “Arctic Program.” What was this brand, he wondered? As fate would have it, the Canadian investment bank Canaccord Genuity got in touch with Cotton soon after in search of financing for a client—a small, Toronto-based winter-wear manufacturer called Canada Goose that was growing fast and had ambitions to go global. Cotton quickly recognized it as the company behind the parkas with the cool patches. He flew to Toronto for a dinner meeting with Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss at a trendy restaurant called North 44. Months later, Bain took a 70% stake in Canada Goose. Read more at Fortune.