Yesterday we reported that Stefan Kaluzny had resigned as a managing director with Golden Gate Capital, where he had been part of the founding team in 2000. Now we have some additional details.
A source familiar with the situation says that Kaluzny is planning to open his own private equity firm, with a focus on investments in the retail sector. Joining him will be Peter Morrow, who most recently served as a principal with Golden Gate. It is possible that more defections are coming soon, particularly from Golden Gate's junior ranks.
No details yet on how much money Kaluzny hopes to raise for his new firm, although the target most likely will be significantly lower than the $5.5 billion Golden Gate raised for its third fund in 2008.
Also unclear is whether or not Kaluzny will continue to sit on the boards of Golden Gate portfolio companies, either as a representative of the firm or as an independent director.
"Golden Gate Capital has been an incredible partner to us, and Stefan has been my main point of contact there," says Michael Weiss, CEO of clothing retailer Express Inc. (EXPR). "I sure hope he stays on [the board] because he understands the retail business so well, but don't yet know if that's going to happen."
Theo Killion, CEO of jewelry retailer Zale Corp. (ZLC) added: "I don't have any indication yet on if he's staying on the board... The first I heard about Stefan leaving [Golden Gate] was when he called me yesterday."
In addition to Express and Zale, Kaluzny's portfolio companies included Apogee Retail, Eddie Bauer, J. Jill Group, Romano's Macaroni Grill and Orchard Brands (which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this past week).
I've reached out to Kaluzny for comment, and will update this post if he responds. I'm also hoping for some additional details tomorrow from Golden Gate, including how it plans to maintain its retail practice in the wake of Kaluzny and Morrow's departures.
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