Chip Hornsby Joins Advent Operating Partner Program

Buyout shop Advent International said that Chip Hornsby has joined its operating partner program. Hornsby will advise on opportunities in the industrial sector, with a focus on distribution and building products investments. He is the former president and chief executive of industrial distribution company Wolseley plc. Hornsby worked previously as president and CEO of plumbing supply distributor Ferguson Enterprises.

Advent International, one of the world’s leading global private equity firms, today announced that Chip Hornsby has joined the firm’s Operating Partner Program. He will advise on opportunities in the industrial sector, with a focus on distribution and building products investments. Mr. Hornsby will principally work with Advent’s US deal team, supporting the firm’s investment activities globally.

Mr. Hornsby is one of the most accomplished global distribution executives. From 2006 to 2009, he served as President and CEO of Wolseley plc (LSE: WOS), the world’s largest industrial distribution company with over $20 billion in annual sales. Prior to that, Mr. Hornsby was the President and CEO of Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., the largest plumbing supply distributor in North America, where he drove sales expansion from $3 billion to $9 billion during his five-year tenure leading the organization. He began his career at Ferguson and worked there for 27 years.

Mr. Hornsby serves on the board of directors for Goodman Global, Inc., a $2 billion manufacturer and distributor of HVAC equipment, and Univar Inc., a $7 billion chemicals distributor. He is the former Chairman of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.

Stephen Hoffmeister, Managing Director in Advent’s Industrials group, said: “Advent is thrilled to have Chip on our team. His experience and reputation in the distribution and building products industries are unparalleled and we know he will add significant value to our long-standing investment efforts in these sectors. Together, we are looking to invest in leading distribution and building products companies which we could help grow, and would like to invest up to $1 billion of equity capital behind this effort.”

Commenting on his new role, Mr. Hornsby added: “The prospect of joining Advent is exciting. They have a long and successful track record in building products and distribution, and I wanted to partner with a firm with such a consistent focus on these industries. Additionally, the Advent team possessed the right cultural fit both for me and the companies we are targeting for investment – they know how to drive fundamental growth in their companies and are a pleasure to work with.”

This is the latest appointment in Advent’s Operating Partner Program, a long-established and successful element of the firm’s highly operational approach to investing. The program includes over 70 senior industry executives, many of whom have been involved in multiple Advent investments. These executives typically assist in activities such as finding attractive investment opportunities, conducting due diligence, and creating and driving value creation plans for Advent’s portfolio companies.

Advent International has been an active investor in building products, distribution and construction supply for over 20 years, and has invested in more than 20 companies in these sectors. In its most recent transaction in the space, Advent acquired Bradco Supply in 2008 and subsequently merged it with ABC Supply in 2010 to create the largest US distributor of roofing supplies and complementary exterior building materials.

About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the world’s leading global buyout firms, with offices in 16 countries on four continents. A driving force in international private equity for over 26 years, Advent has built an unparalleled global platform of over 160 investment professionals across Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on international buyouts, strategic repositioning opportunities and growth buyouts in five core sectors, working actively with management teams to drive revenue growth and earnings improvements in portfolio companies. Since inception, Advent has raised $26 billion in private equity capital and, through its buyout programs, has completed over 260 transactions valued at approximately $60 billion in 35 countries.