Bain Leaves Cali –

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

“The two managing directors in San Francisco made personal decisions to move back to Boston, which is why the office is not staying open,” says Alex Stanton, a Bain Capital spokesman. “It does not mean that Bain is no longer interested in attractive investment opportunities on the West Coast, because it still is.”

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 factor in San Francisco. According to Thomson Venture Economics (publisher of Buyouts), Bain has invested venture capital into just four California-based companies since the beginning of 2002. More significantly, the firm has not transacted a California 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.”