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Brentwood Associates

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Brentwood Associates

Brentwood Associates
Industry Private equity
Founded 1972
Founder(s) Frederick Warren, Timothy M. Pennington III, B. Kipling Hagopian
Headquarters Los Angeles, United States
Products Leveraged buyout, Venture capital
Total assets $2.3 billion (LBO $1.4b, VC: $900m)

Brentwood Associates is one of the oldest private equity firms in the US with groups focusing on both leveraged buyout and venture capital investments.

The firm, which is based in Los Angeles, was founded in 1972. The firm has raised approximately $2.3 billion since inception across 13 funds. The firm's leveraged buyout business raised approximately $1.4 billion across four funds, the earliest of which was raised with $140 million of commitments in 1990.[1] The venture capital group raised over $900 million across nine funds, the earliest of which was formed in 1980 and the last of which was raised in 1998, prior to the spinout of the firm's venture business.


Since inception in 1972, Brentwood has made dozens of investments across a wide array of industries. The firm's leveraged buyout practice has focused on acquiring more mature businesses, while its venture capital group has invested in earlier stage, startup companies.

Buyout investments

The firm's leveraged buyout practice has completed more than 30 acquisitions. Among the most notable companies in which Brentwood has invested include: Ariat, Oriental Trading Company,[2] Bell Sports,[3] Bell Automotive, Prince Sports,[4] C.C. Filson,[5] Graphic Controls Corporation,[6] The Teaching Company,[7] Stanley Works, Zoës Kitchen[8] and Zumiez.[9]

Venture capital investments

Brentwood's venture group, prior to its spinout separation in 1999, was among the most prominent investment firms in the 1990s Internet boom. Among the firm's most notable investments in software and internet businesses during this period included: Wellfleet Communications, Xylan, Documentum, ISOCOR, WebTV Networks and Freegate. After 1999, investments in the internet and information technology sectors were made by Redpoint Ventures.

Brentwood also had a long history of investing in health care companies with strategically important products or services. Today, the vast majority of Brentwood's successful healthcare investments have been acquired by and integrated into larger healthcare companies including Baxter Healthcare and Medtronic. Among Brentwood's most notable investments included Keravision, Aradigm, Webster Laboratories and Interflo Medical.


History of private equity
and venture capital

Early history
(Origins of modern private equity)

The 1980s
(LBO boom)

The 1990s
(LBO bust and the VC bubble)

The 2000s
(Dot-com bubble to the credit crunch)

Brentwood was originally founded by Frederick Warren,[10] Timothy M. Pennington III[11] and B. Kipling Hagopian[12]

Leading investor in start up companies in the late 1990s. Raised a $300 million venture fund in 1998. Brentwood Venture Capital was founded in 1972 as Brentwood Associates. Over the last 26 years, Brentwood has grown to be one of the oldest and largest firms in the venture capital industry, having raised over $1 billion in capital and investing in over 300 entrepreneurial companies[13]

In 1999, the partners from Brentwood joined with partners from Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and Crosspoint Ventures and created two separate industry-focused firms with the relevant firm making new investments in each of the respective industries:

  • Redpoint Ventures, focusing on early stage information technlogy investments[14]
  • Versant Ventures, focused on health care venture investments

In 1999, Redpoint raised a $600 million venture fund Ventures I, at the time the largest first-time fund for a new firm.[15]


  • Venture capital firms stay the course to stay profitable. Los Angeles Business Journal, May 17, 1993
  • Brentwood Associates Profile. Left Coast Investing

External links

  • Brentwood Associates (company website)
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