Bain's Businesses: Is Romney's Company a 'Job Creator' or 'Corporate Raider?'

From Staples to Burger King, Bain Capital has owned a plethora of companies.

ByABC News
May 21, 2012, 5:19 PM

May 22, 2012 -- intro: While Bain Capital has only recently been flung into the nation's consciousness, many of the businesses that are now owned by the company that Mitt Romney helped create have been household names for decades.

From Staples to Burger King, the private equity investment firm has a substantial stake in dozens of companies that, combined, are worth $60 billion, according to the Bain Capital website.

But with creating jobs as the No. 1 issue for this year's presidential candidates, the debate still rages between the Romney campaign and the Obama campaign about whether the presumed GOP nominee was a "job creator" or a "corporate raider" during his 14-year tenure at the helm of Bain Capital.

Romney oversaw Bain Capital's investments in more than 150 companies since he helped to create the private equity group in 1984 as an offshoot of the consulting firm Bain & Company, where Romney worked for seven years.

And while Republicans and Democrats fight to control the narrative over Romney's resume, the facts point to a mixed bag of soaring successes and battered bankruptcies that continues today.

Here's a look at some of the companies that have put their fate in Bain's hands both during and after Romney's stint as CEO.

quicklist: 1title: Domino's Pizzatext:When Domino's founder Thomas S. Monaghan retired in 1998 he sold a "significant portion" of his pizza company to Bain Capital, Monaghan told the New York Times.

As Bain's interim CEO, Romney personally signed the $1.1 billion check to acquire Domino's Pizza. Bain would end up making a staggering 500 percent return on their investment over the next 12 years, the Boston Globe reported.

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quicklist: 8title: Toys 'R' Ustext: Bain teamed up with another private equity firm, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and a real estate developer Vornado Realty Trust to buy Toys "R" Us in 2005 for about $6 billion, the New York Times reported at the time.

Since Bain took over partial ownership in 2005, after Romney left the company, Toys "R" Us has maintained roughly the same number of stores, with about 1,600 retail locations worldwide.


quicklist: 9title: KB Toystext: While Toys "R" Us left a positive mark on the Bain books, its rival toy retailer KB Toys met a far bleaker fate. KB Toys filed for bankruptcy in 2004, four years after Bain took over the company.

A super PAC supporting Romney's GOP primary rival Newt Gingrich sought to tie Romney to the jobs lost when KB Toys' closed its 1,200 stores in its 28-minute documentary film "King of Bain."

These "corporate raider" claims were widely discredited, largely because Romney was no longer leading Bain when the company bought KB Toys, having left a year earlier to help organize the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.


quicklist: 10title: American Pad and Papertext: Romney may have been long gone from Bain Capital during the KB Toys demise, but he was sitting front and center as CEO when Bain took over American Pad and Paper, or Ampad, in 1992. The company would eventually declare bankruptcy in 2000.

In its second ad attacking Romney's job creation record at Bain, the Obama campaign released a five-minute spot on Monday highlighting the workers who lost their jobs while Bain Capital reaped a $100 million profit when Ampad went bankrupt.

Bain Capital, under Romney's command, bought Ampad in 1992, took the company public in 1996 and had relinquished control by the time the office supply manufacturer declared bankruptcy in 2000, according to a Boston Globe analysis of Security and Exchange Commission filings. Romney retired from Bain to help manage the Olympics in 1999.

Bain responded to the Obama campaign ad on Monday, saying the company's control of Ampad ended in 1996, "fully four years before it encountered financial difficulties."

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quicklist: 2title: Staplestext: The office supply giant Staples has become a poster child of sorts for Romney when the presumed GOP nominee touts his experience as a job creator. Under his watch, Bain Capital invested in the then-fledgling office superstore, which now employs 88,000 people, according to the company's annual stockholder report.

At the ABC/Yahoo GOP debate in New Hampshire, Romney touted Staples as "a business that we helped start from the ground up." The Romney campaign has cited Staple's nearly 90,000 workers as a large chuck of the 100,000 jobs Romney helped create during his time at Bain, a figure the Obama campaign disputes.

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quicklist: 7title: Dunkin Donutstext: Romney was not still working for Bain when the company, along with two other investment groups, bought Dunkin Donuts in 2006.

Bain Capital, the Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners paid a combined $2.4 billion to buy the coffee and doughnut company from the French wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard.

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quicklist: 11title: Burger Kingtext: When Bain Capital scooped up a substantial share in Burger King in 2003, the nation's No. 2 fast food restaurant was languishing. But within three years the fast food chain boosted record revenue of $2.05 billion, according to its 2006 annual report.

Romney was no longer leading Bain when the firm partnered with Texas Pacific Group and Goldman Sachs to take over Burger King. The investment firm 3G Capital bought Burger King for $3.26 billion in 2010, Reuters reported at the time of the sale.

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quicklist: 3 title: Gymboreetext: In October 2010 Bain Capital bet on baby clothes, buying the children's clothing company Gymboree for $1.8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Gymboree also operates Janie and Jack stores, which specialize in newborn and toddler apparel, and Crazy 8, a discount children's clothing store.

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qucklist: 4title: Guitar Centertext: Bain took over the musical instrument retailer Guitar Center in 2007 for $2.1 billion, Reuters reports. While Romney was an investor at Bain Capital in 2007, he was no longer working for Bain when it bought Guitar Center.


quicklist: 5title: Michaelstext: The arts and crafts store Michaels joined the long list of companies that are at least partially owned by Bain in 2006, after Romney had left Bain's ranks.

Bain, along with another private equity firm the Blackstone Group, bought Michaels for $6 billion, the New York Times reported at the time.


quicklist: 6title: Burlington Coat Factorytext: Bain took the reins at Burlington Coat Factory in 2006, buying the discount clothing store for $1.87 billion, according to Bloomberg.