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Castanea Partners invests in Aurora Brands

Castanea Partners has invested in Aurora Brands, the owner of two American luxury home and lifestyle brands – MacKenzie-Childs and Jay Strongwater.

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Aurora, New York, MacKenzie-Childs specialises in the luxury home furnishings and personal accessories market. The brand has a multi-channel sales presence, including a direct to consumer business, wholesale distribution in luxury department stores and independent home retailers, and three branded retail stores.
Founded in 1995 and headquartered in New York, NY, Jay Strongwater is a luxury brand in home and personal accessories. The company has established a reputation throughout the world for its uniquely designed and handcrafted “jewels for the home,” and ranks among the most important premium luxury brands in its distribution channels. Jay Strongwater is distributed in luxury department stores, fine independent retailers and through its direct to consumer business.
Castanea Partners is partnering with the Aurora Brands management team, led by Lee Feldman and Howard Cohen. As partners in Twin Lakes Capital, they led the acquisition of MacKenzie-Childs in 2008 and Jay Strongwater in 2011.
“We really look forward to working with Lee and Howard to support the continuing growth of MacKenzie-Childs and Jay Strongwater,” says Steve Berg, partner at Castanea. “We feel that our operating and marketing experience will add value in the next stage of the company’s development.”
“We are excited to partner with Castanea, and believe their investment sets the stage for future growth. Castanea’s extensive operating experience building premium consumer brands was the distinguishing factor when it came to selecting a partner,” says Feldman.
As part of the transaction, Ron Frasch, operating partner at Castanea, will be joining Aurora Brands’ board. He recently served as the president and chief merchandising officer at Saks Fifth Avenue. 

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