JC Penney’s sales under a magnifying glass; StoneBridge Healthcare bids for Erlanger Health System; New growth equity firm Venn Growth beefs up team

Erlanger Health System rebuffs StoneBridge's $425 million bid to acquire Erlanger Health Systems and Venn Growth expands its team while preparing to roll out a $300 million inaugural fund.

It’s Thursday.

How’s everyone doing?

Our data wizard, Karishma Vanjani, has whipped up a chart detailing weekly consumer spend for JC Penney year-to-date – indicating how deep in the red the bankrupt retailer has fallen this year.

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 15, the retailer saw interest from a host of suitors, including Sycamore Partners, as first reported by the NYPost.

Plano, Texas-based JC Penney recorded a year-on-year drop in sales of almost 90 percent in 2020 during the covid breakneck progression periods of March, April and May but recorded a spike in the latter half of June, according to Facteus data, which measures consumer credit card spending through its transaction data panel.

Check out Karishma’s full report.

In other troubled situations…

Last week I caught up with Josh Nemzoff to learn more about his new private equity-like venture, StoneBridge Healthcare, which intends to acquire and rescue distressed acute care hospitals in suburban and urban markets.

This week, StoneBridge launched a $425 million offer to acquire Erlanger Health Systems, with a commitment to invest $275 million in capital improvements over the next four years to further transform the health system, and fully fund the $80 million employee pension fund shortfall.

Erlanger management, the hospital’s board of trustees and local elected officials said there is no plan to sell the safety-net hospital, according to local reports.

But StoneBridge isn’t giving up.

“The response from the hospital was we are doing fine so there is no reason to sell. But we have their numbers and they are clearly not doing well. Once the facts come out and they will come out, the narrative will change,” Nemzoff wrote in an email to PE Hub Thursday morning.

Read PE Hub’s recent coverage for more on StoneBridge.

Top Scoops
On the move: Emerging growth equity manager Venn Growth Partners added to its bench with a fresh crop of hires, people familiar with the matter told Buyouts

Venn Growth, which is preparing to roll out a $300 million inaugural fund, recruited five senior team members over the past few months, the persons said. The additions to the roster include former execs of L Catterton, McKinsey, Scotiabank. Check out Kirk Falconer’s story for more detail.

Request for all PE Hub readers: We’re building a database of all PE-backed companies fighting covid-19. Have any of your portfolio companies retooled their daily operations to help flatten the curve? Drop karishma.v@peimedia.com or springle@buyoutsinsider.com a line with the company name, PE firm and how have they have altered things.

As always, send me a note at springle@buyoutsinsider.com with any comments, tips or just to say hello.