Bain Capital Sends Company Upstream –

Boston-based Bain Capital last month agreed to sign off its investment in Stream International Inc., a customer care and technology support company for online and technology companies, to Solectron Corp. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of October, were undisclosed.

Bain will be selling its full ownership stake of approximately 60% of the company.

Stream International split off from its larger parent, now Modus Media International and Corporate Software, prior to the Bain VI investment in 1999. (However, Bain IV was already an investor in Modus Media since 1993, and still holds a 39% stake.) Bain purchased R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.‘s stake in Stream International for $96 million.

Stream International focuses on providing customer care and technology support via telephone and the Internet to two primary segments – manufacturers of technology and online businesses.

Under Bain’s ownership, Stream International has seen significant growth, mainly through acquiring new clients and building up the accounts of existing clients. Last year the company, based in Canton, Mass., had $323 million in sales. Kathleen Nordgren, a spokesperson for Stream International, said the company grew “well over 30% last year” and is seeing growth again this year, though to a lesser extent. “The bulk of the growth has been from existing clients typically the way we start a new client is we start small, prove ourselves and then [the account] grows from there,” she said. “That’s how we’ve grown our largest accounts.”

With the completion of the deal, Stream International will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Solectron Corp. based in Milpitas, Calif. Currently, there are no management changes planned and the business will retain its brand name, said Nordgren.

“We see [the sale] as very positive news, helping to support our growth,” she said.

Bain also exited its investment in Sportcraft recently with a sale to fellow buyout fund Goense Bounds & Partners. Bain held that investment for approximately five and a half years (see story Goense Bounds Takes the Rebound).