Associated Press

Two different economic philosophies are facing off in the 2012 presidential election as President Barack Obama seeks to portray challenger Mitt Romney as a corporate raider, and Romney seeks to define Obama as someone who doesn't understand how business works. President Obama has criticized Romney's work as a venture capitalist, highlighting companies such as AMPAD, Dade, GST Steel, and Stage on his website. In turn, Romney has criticized Obama's record in giving loans to companies like Solyndra. The information for this list is taken from a private prospectus developed by Deutsche Banc Alex in 2000, which includes the investment history of Bain Capital from 1984 through 1999 and has been posted online by The Los Angeles Times. Company profiles and information have been gathered from various online sources, and are frequently linked throughout. Employment figures come from various sources as well, including business information site and To see a list of 30 investments the Obama administration has been a part of through the Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office, click here.

Domino's Pizza
Associated Press

Year: 1998
Investment: Bain reportedly paid $1 billion for the controlling stake
Realized: The Boston Globe estimates Bain saw a 500 percent return
Recent employment numbers: 10,000

In 1998 the acquisition of Domino's Pizza was "a huge deal" for Bain Capital, the Boston Globe reported in January 2012. The company wasn't in trouble, nor was it a turnaround case, but it was a good investment for Bain. While Domino's grew its revenues and earnings under Bain, its debt also rose to $1.5 billion, leaving interest payments that eat up half its profits each year. Dominio's Pizza CEP Patrick Doyle told The Daily Caller that the Bain team was "really terrific," and that Bain helped shape Domino's and make the company successful. The Los Angeles Times reports that the number of pizza stores grew from 6,100 to more than 9,500 around the world today.

* Thomas S. Monaghan, founder and chairman of Domino's Pizza, Inc., left, and Mitt Romney, managing director of Bain Capital, Inc., sign an agreement for Monaghan to sell a "significant portion" of his stake in the company to Bain Capital Sept. 25, 1998, in New York.

Associated Press

Year: 1996
Investment: $87.6 million
Realized: $251.8 million
Recent employment numbers: 5,553

At the time Bain acquired the company, Experian Information Solutions was a subsidiary of a larger corporation. Bain installed two of its own men on Experian's board of directors and started looking for growth opportunities. However, seven weeks later, Great Universal Stores offered to buy Experian for $1.7 billion in order to grow its own consumer credit reporting division. The Experian buyout is described in The Atlantic as "an insane success."

* This photo released by Experian shows members of the Detroit band Victorious Secrets, plus a goat.

ICON Health & Fitness
Ravell Call, Deseret News

Year: 1994
Investment: $45.5 million
Realized/estimated: $13.3 million
Recent employment numbers: 2,000

According to a 2011 article, Romney's ties to Logan, Utah, stem from his investment in ICON Health & Fitness. ICON, an exercise equipment manufacturer and marketer, was purchased by Bain Capital along with Weslo Inc. in 1994, the Deseret News reported. According to The Los Angeles Times, ICON has about 2,000 employees today; the same number of employees the company had in 1994 when Bain invested.

* Miguel Rios (center) works on a treadmill assembly line at Icon Health and Fitness in Logan, Utah, May 8, 2003.


Year: 1997
Investment: $40 million
Realized: $40 million (estimate)
Recent employment numbers: 4,276

The story of Bain's involvement at Sealy can be told different ways, an article at says. The Street lists it as among the five best Bain investments, while The Daily Bellweather warns that it could be used against him in Ohio, where Bain shut its corporate headquarters and shifted jobs in 1998. While jobs left Ohio, they didn't vanish, instead winding up in North Carolina, another article points out. The Los Angeles Times reports that employment at Sealy Mattress increased in the seven years Bain held the company, with the growth coming almost entirely overseas. Sealy had a 23 percent share of the $4 billion mattress market when Bain bought it in 1997, and after going for a "lean" manufacturing process and redesigning its core mattress, earnings jumped from $112 million to $168 million in three years. Bain sold Sealy to KKR in 2004.


Year: 1994
Investment: $26.6 million
Realized: $204.5 million
Jobs lost under Bain: -70
Recent employment numbers: 5,700

In the company's Reuters profile, Waters Corp. is described as "a maker of life sciences tools" and an analytical instrument manufacturer. On its own company website, Waters is described as "the world's leading supplier of ultra performance liquid chromatography, high performance liquified chromatography, mass spectrometry, thermal analysis and rheology instrumentation and consumables." In the fifteen months Bain held Waters, jobs were reduced by about 70, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company currently has 5,700 employees. Waters went public in 1995.

Alliance Entertainment

Year: 1995
Investment: $25.1 million
Realized: $10 million
Recent employment numbers: 183

In 1995, Bain purchased a stake in Alliance Entertainment, a distributor of CDs and DVDS, reports. By 1997, a combination of debt, expansion plans and a slumping music industry left Alliance heading toward bankruptcy. Alliance closed several distribution centers, and in 1997 the Sun Sentinel reported that about 550 worked in Coral Springs, down from 650 local jobs and 1,300 workers worldwide.

Steel Dynamics

Year: 1994
Investment: $18.2 million
Realized: $103.9 million
Recent employment numbers: 6,530

In answer to President Obama's GST Steel ad, the Romney campaign produced an ad highlighting a steel success story in the form of Steel Dynamics. At the end of 1998, Steel Dynamics had more than 500 employees, The American reports. By the end of 2011 it had more than 6,000 employees. Steel Dynamics has grown to be America's fifth-largest producer of carbon-steel products, and is one of just six major U.S.-owned steel companies, according to National Review.

Duane Reade

Year: 1992
Investment: $16 million
Realized: $58.9 million
Recent employment numbers: 6,000

A 2011 New York Post article said Romney was nervous about the 1992 purchase of the drugstore chain. Bain put Duane Reade in debt, putting down $16 million on the deal and borrowing more than $200 million to finance the deal. By 1995 the chain was slightly underwater, so the Duane Reade board, on which Romney sat, made changes and stabilized the chain. Bain sold the chain in 1997 to DLJ Merchant Banking Partners for $350 million. The chain grew from 37 stores to about 60 stores, and by 2011, the number of stores had reached 267.

Duane Reade Pharmacies became part of the search for the missing 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital, Newsmax reports, as the stores placed fliers with her photo in every shopper's bag. She was found.

Jostens Learning
New York Times screencap

Year: 1995
Investment: $13.6 million
Realized: 0
Jobs: Unknown

In 1995, Bain acquired educational software firm Jostens Learning Corp., which was a unit of Jostens Inc. Jostens Learning was a provider of educational software and also sold home learning CD titles. At the time, Jostens Learning had 1,100 employees. Restructuring and operational changes resulted in $11 million in cost savings, but the company failed to meet earning expectations in 1996, and Wall Street reacted negatively. In 1999, Jostens Learning was acquired by Ripplewood Holdings LLC, with estimates suggesting that Ripplewood spent about $100 million on the deal. Jostens was taken private in 2000.

Dade International
Associated Press

Year: 1994
Investment: $13.3 million
Realized: $216.5 million
Jobs lost under Bain: -1,700
2006 employment numbers: 6,400

The American reports that Bain bought Dade International from Baxter in 1994 and later merged it with Behring. Dade Behring made blood-testing machines and performed animal research. Bain cashed out at $216 million when it took Dade public in 1996. Dade went bankrupt in 2002 but recovered and was acquired by Siemens for more than $6 billion in 2007. A report in the Miami Herald states that Bain borrowed heavily to buy the company that became Dade Behring and closed a factory in Puerto Rico to improve the company's bottom line. In 1997 Bain shut Dade Behring's Miami operations. The Herald's report shows about 1,250 people losing their jobs between 1995 and 1997. Employment, the numbers show, declined by 1,000 from the company's peak in 1997 to its final level in 2006, and stood (in 2006) at 6,400 people employed.

* Outside view of a building of the German Siemens company in Munich, southern Germany, July 26, 2006.

Holson Burnes Group

Year: 1986-1992
Investment: $10 million
Realized: $22.6 million
Jobs lost under Bain: -294
Recent employment numbers: 149

The Holson Burnes group was a photo album manufacturing company with plants in South Carolina and New Hampshire. After Bain merged Hallmark's Burnes of Boston and the Holson Company, Bain built a factory in South Carolina. Sales grew, but the company was operating at a loss. The company closed the South Carolina plant in 1992, laying off some and moving other jobs to Claremont in New Hampshire. In 2005, the city manager and Claremont mayor Scott Pope received a letter notifying them that the Holson Burnes plant was closing. Job losses in Claremont totaled around 100, the Boston Globe reported in 2011. According to the company's website, after being acquired by Bain, The Holson Burnes Group became the largest designer, manufacturer and distributor of photo albums in the U.S., the second largest designer and distributor of photo frames and the only major U.S. supplier of both photo frames and albums to all major retail distribution channels. The company was purchased by Newell Company in 1996 and Anderson Press in 2006.

Stage Stores

Year: 1988-1992
Investment: $9.5 million
Realized: $184.4 million
Recent employment numbers: 14,000

Bain invested in Stage Stores in 1988 when it was a young company. It went public in 1996 with 9,606 employees, The American reports. Bain realized $184 million from the investment and reinvested $23 million for a net payout of $161 million. The company went into chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2000 and employment dropped from 15,700 in 1999 to 9,800 by 2001. Stage left chapter 11 and today employs 13,500 people. A Denver Post article chronicles the effect Bain's involvement with Stage Stores had on the state, discussing how what was once the state's largest privately owned retailer eventually closed its Colorado stores as it reorganized in bankruptcy. Stage Stores bounced back with about 50 percent more locations than before the reorganization, but Colorado had fewer stores than before.

Stream International/Corp Soft/Modus Media

Year: 1993
Investment: $9.5 million
Realized: $17.6 million
Recent employment numbers: 30,000

Bain bought Corporate Software Inc. in 1993 and merged it with R.R. Donnelley & Songs Unit in 1995 to create Stream International. A 2001 article from BuyOuts reports that Stream experienced "significant growth, mainly through acquiring new clients and building up the accounts of existing clients." posits that by creating Stream, Bain accelerated the trend among high-tech firms to outsource their customer support work. In 1997, Stream employed the bulk of its staff in the U.S. with 3,090 workers in the U.S. and 420 international. Today, Stream Global Services employs 30,000 workers in 50 call centers. Nine of those call centers are in the United States, located in New York, New Mexico, South Dakota, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Texas, Oregon and Massachusetts.


Year: 1994
Investment: $8.5 million
Realized: $176.8 million
Jobs lost under Bain: -50
Recent employment numbers: 1,000

Bain acquired Physio, a maker of heart defibrillators, from Eli Lilly in 1994. One year later, Physio-Control went public. lists 50 jobs lost in the deal. However, Physio division president Brian Webster told that he has a high degree of respect for the Bain team after working with them under Bain ownership in the '90s. Physico-Control is back under Bain ownership as of Jan. 30, 2012, and Webster said he expects to see a company focused on growth, aggressive in the marketplace, nimble and innovative.

GS Industries

Year: 1993
Investment: $8.2 million
Realized: $33.8 million
Jobs lost under Bain: -750

GS Industries may be the most recognizable of the Bain companies due to an Obama attack ad. Bain cut jobs and benefits as it spent $24 million to acquire and merge steel companies with plants in Missouri, South Carolina and other states. Charles Bradford, an analyst, told Reuters that the union was partly to blame for the GS Industries failure, while union officials place the blame on Bain managers, saying the managers saddled the company with too much debt for a capital-intensive, cyclical industry such as steel. However, B.C. Huselton, vice president of the business at the time, told The Wall Street Journal that the plant would have folded in 1993 if Bain hadn't come in. The company went bankrupt two years after Romney left Bain.

Wesley Jessen VisionCare

Year: 1995
Investment: $6.4 million
Realized: $303.3 million
Jobs lost under Bain: -600
2001 employment numbers: 2,600

Bain bought Wesley Jessen VisionCare for $6 million and sold it seven years later for $300 million, The American reports. The company had been a division of Schering Plough and was not profitable. Bain and a new CEO turned it around and sold it to Ciba Geigy in 2001. Today the company is part of Ciba Vision. When it was sold, it had 2,600 employees.

American Pad & Paper (Ampad)

Year: 1992
Investment: $5 million
Realized: $107 million
Jobs lost under Bain: -385
Recent employment numbers: 860

Bain bought controlling interest in Ampad for $5 million in 1992. Two years later, after Ampad bought a factory in Marion, Ind., the new management team dismissed about 200 workers, slashed salaries and benefits and hired strikebreakers after the union called a walkout. New York Magazine reports the strike occurred because Ampad fired union workers and hired most of them back at lower wages. Ampad also asked workers to cover half of the costs of their health care. The Marion plant closed several months later. Afterward, Romney wrote expressing regret and discussing his hopes to have ended the strike privately. Ampad filed for bankruptcy protection in 2000, the Los Angeles Times reports. After Ampad filed for bankruptcy, pieces of the business were sold. Employment declined from 4,105 in 1996 to 3,800 in 2000, The American reports. Esselte acquired Ampad in 2010.

Auto Palace/ADAP

Year: 1995
Investment: $4.9 million
Realized: $2.1 million
Jobs lost under Bain: -20

According to the book "The Real Romney," Romney came up with the idea of investing in a car parts company called Auto Palace/ADAP. Romney served on the board, but Bain lost about half of the investment. The book suggests that the Auto Palace/ADAP investment shows that Romney's true strength was analyzing other people's proposals. lists 20 jobs as being lost during the investment.


Year: 1991
Investment: $4.1 million
Realized: $47.2 million
Recent employment numbers: 3,176

The Street lists Brookstone as one of Mitt Romney's five best Bain Capital buys, explaining that when Bain took over the company in 1991, it was to change the model for selling the product rather than changing the product. Today Brookstone has 300 stores, but also relies on a multi-pronged approach of Web and catalog service. Bain saw declines in 2009, but changed its business template and kept moving forward.

Handbag Holdings

Year: 1988-1991
Investment: $4.1 million
Realized: $993,000
Jobs lost under Bain: -206

According to a profile in Vanity Fair, Bain invested $4 million in Handbag Holdings, which sold pocketbooks and other accessories. When a major customer stopped buying, the company failed and 200 jobs were lost. puts the job loss a touch higher, at 206.

Vetco Gray

Year: 1988
Investment: $3.7 million
Realized: $15.9 million
Recent employment numbers: 4,800

A 1988 Houston Chronicle article reported that Bain purchased 70 percent of Houston oil field supplier Vetco Gray Inc. for an "undisclosed amount." At the time, Romney said Bain didn't have any plans for major changes to the company,and that Bain wanted a stake in Vetco Gray because it has a "high quality product line and a leadership position in its industry." Vetco Gray employed 650 people in Houston and 2,500 people worldwide in 1988. General Electric acquired Vetco Gray for $1.8 billion in 2007, with 5,000 people employed worldwide at the time of purchase.

Gartner Group

Year: 1990
Investment: $3.4 million
Realized: $55.3 million
Employment in 1990: 300
Recent employment numbers: 4,975

Known today as Gartner, Inc., Gartner Group is an information technology research and advisory business, its website states. Democrats have used the company to attack Romney, saying that it provides outsourcing advice. The outsourcing attacks are not an issue, said Steve Pagliuca, a managing director at Bain Capital who was involved in the original deal and who has served on Gartner's board for 21 years. He said outsourcing questions may be one of 1,000 that come in. The company had 300 employees in 1990 and has grown to have more than 5,000 on its payroll, Financial Times reports.


Year: 1989
Investment: $3.3 million
Realized: $10.8 million
Jobs: Unknown

Damon Corp was a medical testing company based in Needham, Mass. Romney joined Damon's board of directors after Bain purchased a stake in 1990. He remained there until Corning Inc. bought the company three years later, The Los Angeles Times reports. Bain tripled its investment and Romney claimed more than $100,000 in capital gains on sales of his own Damon stock. In 1996, Damon pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to overbilling of the Medicare system and paid $199 million in criminal and civil fines. Nobody at Bain was implicated in the fraud, although Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, signaled in early 2012 the intent to use Damon Corp. as a campaign issue.


Year: 1986
Investment: $2.6 million
Realized: $61.2 million
Recent employment numbers: 3,280

Accuride was a truck wheel and rim company. Romney's team posted a down payment of $2.6 million in cash and structured the deal with 40-to-1 leverage. After revamping production and imposing other changes, they sold Accuride a year and a half later for 24 times their investment, The Los Angeles Times reports. Accuride was originally a struggling division of Firestone, but it was renamed after Bain Capital bought it. Bain gave managers performance incentives, and managers helped to reorganize two plants, making $18 million in shared earnings. The men who increased the worth of the corporation deserved a bigger percentage of its spoils, New York Magazine said in a lengthy profile.

Associated Press

Year: 1986
Investment: $2.5 million
Realized: $13 million
Recent employment numbers: 87,782

Before Staples opened its first store, company founder Thomas G. Stemberg went to Bain and told Romney that employees were spending more on office supplies than they thought. Romney conducted a survey and agreed to put $650,000 into the venture. Within a few years, he made back eight times his money, The Week reports. A Newsmax article states that Bain employees helped stock Staples' first store in Brighton, Mass., in 1986. Stemberg told Parade that Romney even gave a speech before the opening of the first store on May 1, 1986.


Year: 1990
Investment: $1.8 million
Realized: $5.2 million
Jobs: Unknown

In August 1990, the Chicago Tribune reported that Eagles Industries Inc. of Chicago's wholly owned subsidiary, DeVilbiss Holding Co., was selling the stock of its DeVilbiss Healthcare Inc. subsidiary to Homecare Holdings Inc. Homecare Holdings was formed by RCS Health Care Partners and co-investors including Galen Partners and Bain Capital, the business brief stated. DeVilbiss Healthcare makes durable respiratory therapy equipment and accessories.


Year: 1993
Investment: $1.6 million
Realized: $28.9 million
Recent employment numbers: 803

Park City-based Nutraceutical, a maker of nutritional supplements, states on its website that it was formed in 1993 by senior management and Bain Capital, Inc., to effect a consolidation strategy in the fragmented vitamin, mineral, herbal and nutritional supplement industry. The company went public in 1998, with Buzzfeed calling the move "a huge success." Democrats have said the investment calls into question the ethics of running the Olympics and benefiting from a company whose products are banned from by the Olympics.

Associated Press

Year: 1988
Investment: $1.1 million
Realized: $14.4 million
Jobs lost under Bain: - 1000
Recent employment numbers: 1,469

In 1988, Stephen Schwarzman's Blackstone Group LP (BX) invited Bain to invest in Transtar Inc., a holding company for rail and barge subsidiaries that had served United States Steel Corp., Bloomberg reports. Former Bain executive Geoffrey Rehnert said Bain became a minority and "completely passive" investor. Bain made $13.3 million before it sold its stake. Transtar dealt with international competition in the steel industry in the 1990s by laying off "hundreds" of employees. puts the job loss higher, at a loss of 1,000 jobs.

Calumet Coach

Year: 1986
Investment: $1 million
Realized: $34.1 million
Jobs: Unknown

In 1986 Bain Capital procured a stake in Calumet Coach, a medical equipment maker, by investing $1 million and taking out loans for $10 million. After two years, Bain sold its stake in the company, making 34 times the original investment. A profile on Geoff Rehnert, a Bain business partner, said that the Calumet Coach deal helped put Bain on the map and also made "Calumet's management team overnight millionaires." AK Associates bought Calumet Coach in 2001, and Oshkosh Specialty Vehicles acquired them in 2006.

Sports Authority

Year: 1987
Investment: Unknown
Realized: Unknown
Recent employment numbers: 15,000

Jack Smith pitched the idea of a sporting-goods mega store to Romney, Bain and several other backers in 1987, and by 1990 he had opened nine stores in six states. Kmart bought the chain for $75 million and then sold off Sports Authority in 1994, The Street reports. In January 2012, Smith told National Review that attacks against Bain and Romney are "a terrible slap against a brilliant guy's record." At the end of 1998, Sports Authority had almost 14,000 employees, The American reports.