September 12, 2007

Castanea Partners Announces Investment in Betsey Johnson

Makes Majority Control Investment in Premium Women’s Fashion Brand

Castanea Partners announced today that it has made a majority control investment in Betsey Johnson, a women’s fashion brand.

Founded in 1978, Betsey Johnson is a designer, marketer, retailer and wholesaler of premium women’s contemporary apparel, accessories and related products under the Betsey Johnson brand. Betsey Johnson markets and sells its products primarily through nearly 50 company owned retail stores and its website (, as well as through over 600 specialty boutiques and better department stores. In addition, the Company licenses, under the Betsey Johnson brand, a portfolio of merchandise including handbags, footwear, lingerie, jewelry and fragrances among several others. Betsey Johnson is headquartered in New York, NY.

Castanea will support the Company as it continues strengthening the distinctive Betsey Johnson brand, expanding its retail footprint and building its licensing business. Founders, Chantal Bacon and Betsey Johnson, will continue in their current roles as CEO and Creative Director, respectively.

“Castanea’s lengthy operating experience in premium consumer brands made them our preferred choice when it came to selecting a financial partner,” said Chantal Bacon, CEO of Betsy Johnson.

“Betsey Johnson is a terrific investment opportunity that fits our strategy well,” said Robert Smith, co-managing partner of Castanea. “The team has been very successful in building a distinctive brand and the Company is now at a stage in its development where our operating experience and capabilities will add value in pursuing its growth potential.”

About Castanea

Castanea is a private equity firm that works in partnership with founders and management teams of innovative passion brands to grow their businesses through a combination of capital investment and operating expertise. We are focused on select consumer verticals including beauty, food and beverage, multi-unit services, and enthusiast lifestyle. We typically invest between $15 to $150 million of equity in minority or majority transactions. Our team of talented operating executives offers critical expertise in key verticals and functional areas, and provides our partner companies with strategic and tactical support. Castanea has more than $1 billion in assets under management and is currently investing from a $735 million fourth fund. For more information about Castanea Partners read our story.

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