Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP) has sold FASTSIGNS International to LightBay Capital and Freeman Spogli & Co.

FASTSIGNS is the largest franchisor in the signage and visual graphics industry with over 700 retail locations across 45 states and 8 countries. The company’s stores sell signs, custom visual communications, interior décor, architectural signage, vehicle graphics, digital signs, and provide consulting, surveying, permitting and installation services.

FASTSIGNS serves over 650,000 businesses across more than 35 industries. The company, founded in 1985, is led by CEO Catherine Monson and is headquartered north of Dallas in Carrollton, TX (

LLCP acquired FASTSIGNS in July 2014 through its fifth fund, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners V LP. At the time of acquisition, the company had 550 retail locations. “The FASTSIGNS investment has been very successful for LLCP and for the company’s management team,” said Lauren Leichtman, founding partner and co-chairperson of the firm’s executive committee. “We are proud to have enhanced the value of FASTSIGNS through various avenues including accelerating franchise development both domestically and internationally, as well as driving same-store sales growth via new products and services, enhanced marketing programs and increased outside sales personnel. We are very excited for the future of FASTSIGNS and we wish the management team continued success.”

LLCP, which invests in middle market companies located in the United States and Europe, is based in Beverly Hills with seven other US and international offices (

“The FASTSIGNS team has done a remarkable job building the company into the leading franchisor in the signage and visual graphics industry,” said David Burcham, a managing director at LightBay. “FASTSIGNS provides substantial value to its franchisees through its experienced franchise support, training and marketing teams, helping its franchisees offer their customers customized products and value-add services.”

LightBay Capital invests in middle market companies that are active in the consumer, healthcare, and business services industries. The firm was founded by Nav Rahemtulla and Adam Stein and is headquartered in Los Angeles (

“FASTSIGNS has a high-quality franchise base, best-in-class senior leadership team, strong middle management team, and a 30-year track record of impressive performance,” said Brad Brutocao, a partner at Freeman Spogli. “We share management’s vision for the company and are excited to support its efforts to accelerate growth as long-term investors in the company.”

Freeman Spogli invests in middle market consumer and distribution companies. Since its founding in 1983, the firm has invested over $4 billion in 60 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of approximately $23 billion. The firm has offices in Los Angeles and New York (

North Point Advisors ( and Harris Williams ( were the financial advisors to FASTSIGNS. Kirkland & Ellis ( and Greenberg Traurig ( provided legal services.

Ares Capital ( provided senior debt financing to FASTSIGNS to support this transaction.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | March 20, 2019

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