Backers Back Out of School Specialty Deal

Oct 05, 2005 8:59 PM  By

Bain Capital Partners’ acquisition of School Specialty, originally slated to close last month, has been put into doubt. A trio of backers–Banc of America Securities, JP Morgan Securities and Deutsche Bank Securities–that had agreed to provide $350 million in debt financing for the deal have backed out.

Greenville, WI-based School Specialty attributed their decision to “disappointing results” on the part of the school supplies merchant in August and September and concerns about its financial performance. School Specialty has reduced its fiscal 2006 forecast, somewhat citing problems related its Lancaster, PA, distribution center and a decline in customer orders.

On May 31, School Specialty agreed to be acquired by a unit of private equity firm Bain Capital in a deal at the time valued at $1.5 billion. School Specialty’s brands include Childcraft, ABC School Supply, and Sax Arts & Crafts.