Craig Rydin, the former CEO of Yankee Candle, has joined consumer and retail focused private equity firm LNK Partners. Yankee Candle was recently sold by Madison Dearborn Partners to Jarden Corporation, a provider of consumer products with a portfolio of over 100 brands.
Mr. Rydin’s experience includes 12 years as Chairman and CEO of Yankee Candle where he and his team executed a strategy that increased the company’s market capitalization by over $1 billion, more than doubled wholesale points of distribution to over 20,000 doors, and opened over 300 new retail stores. Previously he spent 23 years at Campbell Soup Company, including as President of Godiva Chocolatier Worldwide, where he delivered sales growth of 19% CAGR and EBIT growth of 31% CAGR.
Mr. Rydin will be working with and providing perspective to existing LNK portfolio companies, as well as helping to evaluate and pursue new investment opportunities for the firm. LNK’s current portfolio includes investments in Au Bon Pain, Natural Food Holdings (Niman Ranch), and Beachbody. Prior investments have included the support of PVH’s acquisition of Tommy Hilfiger, and Ariat.
Mr. Rydin is currently on the Board of Directors of Au Bon Pain, PVH, and Priceline.com. He received a Bachelor of Arts from University of New Hampshire and earned an MBA from Sacred Heart University.
LNK Partners invests up to $150 million of equity per transaction in consumer and retail businesses. The firm is flexible in the type and structure of its investments and is comfortable being a minority or majority shareholder. The firm is based in White Plains, NY (www.lnkpartners.com).
© 2013 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 9-12-13