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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

The other, less successful, Bain investment in Florida

Like it or not, Mitt Romney's Bain Capital's investment in Miami-based Dade Behring was a huge success. The private equity firm earned $242 million in profits (the downside: 850 people lost their jobs).

But Bain had another Florida business interest that did not go well. In the mid-1990s, Bain purchased a stake in Alliance Entertainment, a distributor of CDs and DVDs with offices in Coral Springs. By 1997, saddled with debt and overly aggressive expansion plans against a slumping music industry, Alliance was barreling toward bankruptcy.

"The Alliance mess is also embarrassing for big-shot investors Wasserstein Perella, Bain Capital and BT Capital, who together have poured more than $50 million into the music distributor and may have to cough up more," reported the New York Daily News on June 16, 1997.

Alliance, which had been based in New York, closed several distribution centers, including one in Miami, and consolidated its operation in Coral Springs. The Sun Sentinel reported in December 1997 that about 550 people would work there, down from 650 local jobs and 1,300 worldwide the company reported when it field for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 14.

According to reports, Bain invested $26.6 million into the company during Romney's tenure. The return: $10 million.

We contacted Bain today, but as of 6:15 p.m. had not heard back from a spokeswoman. Alliance did survive and appears to be a healthy company; a woman who answered the phone there said she was not authorized to comment but did say Bain no longer held a stake in the company.



[Last modified: Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:19am]


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