Bill Shen exits Encore Consumer for ART Capital

Bill Shen left Encore Consumer Capital after nearly 11 years to join an independent sponsor.

Shen was most recently a managing director at Encore, which he joined in July 2008, his LinkedIn said. Encore is a San Francisco private equity firm that invests in food and consumer products companies with a minimum of $10 million revenue. This includes food and beverage, personal care and beauty, household products, pet products and food service. Encore doesn’t target restaurants or retailers. Current investments include Brownie Brittle, 4505 Meats and CeCes Veggie Co.

Encore closed its third fund on $260 million in 2015, PEI reported.

Shen joined ART Capital in May, according to Andrew Thompson, the firm’s founder and managing partner. Shen is a managing director at ART, LinkedIn said. Thompson, who spent 11 years at Wafra, where he was most recently a managing director, launched ART in 2017. (The firm’s name stands for Thompson’s initials.) ART is a sector-focused, regional-focused buyout shop, Thompson said in an interview with Buyouts.

The Solana Beach, California, PE firm is focused on business services deals in the Western U.S., Thompson said. This includes companies in commercial and industrial, technology and education, as well as professional and human capital. ART typically invests up to $50 million equity per deal in companies with up to $100 million in enterprise value. The buyout shop has completed three deals and is set to close on a fourth, Thompson said. “It’s a huge and growing economy and not as many boots on the ground doing lower middle-market buyouts,” he said.

ART is an independent sponsor, raising capital deal by deal. This may change in the future, he said. “We’re potentially in the near term going for a traditional committed fund,” Thompson said.

Encore could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: For more information, contact Thompson by emailing him here