Bain Capital To Close West Coast Office

Bain Capital has decided to close its San Francisco office, effective in June, PE Week has learned. The move means that the Boston-based firm will no longer maintain a West Coast presence and existing staffers will be forced to either leave the firm or find work in one of its remaining four offices.

A spokesman for Bain Capital said the firm decided to close the office when the two managing directors in San Francisco separately decided to move back to Boston for personal reasons. He said Bain Capital enjoyed good relationships in California and will continue to pursue attractive investment opportunities on the West Coast.

The two managing directors are Ian Loring and Andrew Balson. Loring returned to Bain’s Boston office last fall, while Balson has remained and will head east following the office closure.

Bain has long been a major player in East Coast and European private equity markets, but has been less of a force in San Francisco.

The firm has only invested venture capital in four California-based companies since the beginning of 2002, according to Thomson Venture Economics (publisher of PE Week). More significantly, the firm has not transacted a Californian buyout deal since late 2000, when Bain led a buyout of Burbank-based DIC Entertainment Holdings Inc. from The Walt Disney Co.

“The number of funds over the past several years that have come into the Bay Area and Los Angeles markets has been alarming,” says Tiff Armstrong, a managing director in the San Francisco office of Harris Williams & Co. “There are plenty of players, so one group’s satellite office going away is not that important.”