TSG began in consumer packaged goods but, "Just realized over time, what we were was brand investors. We really liked to back brands that were on trend and were riding consumer demand waves," states Comte.
He continues, "We realized that could happen in a lot of different categories, not just historically food and beverage . . . but that you can do that in many categories, including retail businesses, which we expanded into aggressively over the last 10 or 15 years. We realized what we wanted to do was really focus on businesses that needed resources and support to continue to grow, to create the infrastructure around that, and really have a differentiated consumer brand."
TSG currently maintains both control and minority investments. (They're investors in Planet Fitness) and have a legacy of 30+ years where many of the brands they invested in are still around.
Pierre discusses how to delineate between investing in a person versus investing in a brand, how TSG views a brand itself, how they consider valuation multiples, growing a brand (TSG has their own in-house agency!), thoughts on strategic companies buying brands they can't create internally (ex: What Coke did after buying Vitaminwater), what entrepreneurs need to consider before taking on external capital, what they need to think about when considering a majority or a minority stake, and much more.
We expected this podcast to be full of takeaways for anyone at any level of growth, and Pierre didn't disappoint. This master class in how private equity can help build a company (positively!) should be required listening for anyone as they continue to scale their company--regardless of whether they plan on selling, taking on outside capital, or want to continue to run the business indefinitely.