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Bain Capital buys 50% stake in Toms; brand looks to expand


New York -- Toms, the footwear company best known for donating a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair it sells, has sold a 50% stake in its company to private equity giant Bain Capital LLC. The investment will help Toms expand its distribution in Europe, Asia and in the United States, including increasing its store count from its current two locations.

The investment reportedly values Toms at about $625 million, including debt. Blake Mycoskie, who founded Toms in 2006, will retain a 50% stake and remain at the helm.

"This partnership will enable Toms to grow faster and give to more people in more ways than we could otherwise," Mycoskie said in a statement.

Mycoskie plans to give away at least half of his profit from the sale, with part of the money used to help establish a fund to support social entrepreneurship. Bain will match his investment in the fund.

Currently, Toms operates a store in Venice, California, and one in Austin, Texas. It also sells products online and through national retailers and independent boutiques.

In addition to shoes, Toms now sells optical frames and sunglasses. As with the footwear, with each pair of glasses sold, another one goes to a needy person.

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