Golden Gate companies press ahead with IPOs as founder departs

Golden Gate Capital is pressing ahead with stock offerings for two of its portfolio companies, following the surprise departure last month of Jesse Rogers, co-founder and managing director of the San Francisco-based buyout firm.

Rogers, who previously was founder and worldwide head of Bain & Co.’s private equity group, announced in late April that he is retiring, rather than leaving to invest elsewhere. His departure does not create any key man troubles for Golden Gate, which raised $5.5 billion for its third fund in 2008, so long as another senior managing director doesn’t also depart.

Golden Gate has offered no official comment on Rogers’ departure. The firm lists eight other managing directors on its website, including Bain Capital alumni Prescott Ashe and David Dominik.

In the meantime, two portfolio companies of Golden Gate are proceeding with their IPO plans.

Express, a Columbus, Ohio, retailer, which filed its IPO plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission in February, plans to raise as much as $1.77 billion through an offering that is expected to price between $18 and $20 a share. Express began in 1980 as an experimental division called Limited Express of what is now Limited Brands. Limited sold the Express brand to Golden Gate in July 2007.

In addition, Aeroflex Holding Corp. of Plainview, N.Y., registered in April for an offering that could raise as much as $500 million. Aeroflex, which was taken private in 2007 by Golden Gate, Veritas Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs, develops integrated circuits and components for wireless communication systems and instrumentation for testing and measurement. —Dan Primack