J.W. Childs Associates, L.P., a Boston, MA-based operationally focused private equity firm specializing in buyouts of middle-market growth companies, added Joseph M. Fortunato as Operating Partner.
Mr. Fortunato will focus on evaluating, acquiring and growing businesses in the Specialty Retail industry.
Already actively involved with numerous past and present J.W. Childs portfolio companies, he is currently Executive Chairman of Comoto Holdings, the parent company of Cycle Gear, and Revzilla.com, two leading retailers of apparel, accessories and parts for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Mr. Fortunato also serves on the board of Shoe Sensation, a family footwear retailer in the Midwestern United States and was a Director of Mattress Firm, a large mattress retailer, prior to the sale of J.W. Childs’ interests to Steinhoff in September 2016.
Preceding his involvement with J.W. Childs Associates, Mr. Fortunato served as President and Chief Executive Officer of GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC), a global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, from 2005 through 2014, generating substantial shareholder gains for several private equity investors including Ares Management, Apollo Management and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
He also led GNC’s successful IPO in 2011 and assumed the responsibility of Chairman of the Board from 2011 to 2014.
Prior to being named President and CEO in 2005, Mr. Fortunato held several leadership positions within GNC, including Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Retail Operations and Store Development, Senior Vice President of Financial Operations, and Director of Financial Operations. Mr. Fortunato holds a B.S. degree in Finance from Duquesne University.
Founded in 1995, J.W. Childs focuses on investing in middle-market growth companies. To date, it has invested in excess of $3 billion of equity capital in more than 45 companies across the consumer, specialty retail and healthcare industries.