Mills Fleet Farm sale reported
Mills Fleet Farm agreed to sell to KKR, the Star Tribune reported Monday night. An official announcement of the sale is expected today, Jan. 5. In October, the Mills family reported it was courting buyers for the family owned company, which emplo...
Mills Fleet Farm agreed to sell to KKR, the Star Tribune reported Monday night.
An official announcement of the sale is expected today, Jan. 5.
In October, the Mills family reported it was courting buyers for the family owned company, which employs 6,000, has its headquarters in Brainerd and is opening its 36th store in Hermantown this year.
At the time, Stewart Mills III said the company reached a point where, in order to continue to grow at a speed to be competitive, it needed to look for outside capital. Mills said the company couldn't continue to finance growth solely through its own checkbook. At the time, Mills said no final decisions had been made, but more than likely the Mills family would be leaving the business with this transition.
Mills said they could sustain a much slower growth rate, but a larger business growth potential existed and the decision to move forward was made by the family as a group.
"For the long term, this is what is right for the business, this is what is right for our employees," Mills said in October. "It's a very, very painful decision for the Mills family."
Last month, Reuters reported buyout firm Manhattan-based KKR & Co. was in the lead to acquire Mills Fleet Farm for more than $1.2 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Star Tribune quoted Nate Taylor, a KKR executive who runs the retail businesses within KKR's private-equity portfolio, saying while KKR has acquired majority control of the stock, the Mills family will retain a small ownership stake in the 61-year-old company.
Stewart C. Mills Sr. founded Mills Companies when he purchased the Lively Auto Company in Brainerd in 1922.