Willis Stein & Partners

Willis Stein & Partners is a private equity firm focused on leveraged buyout transactions for middle-market companies.

The firm's most notable investments have included Ziff Davis, Roundy's, Jays Foods, Lincoln Snacks Company and Petersen Publishing Company (publisher of Motor Trend).[2][3][4]

Prior to founding the firm John Willis and Avy Stein were executives of Continental Illinois Venture Corp. (CIVC), the private equity arm of . When Continental Illinois was acquired in 1994 by Bank of America, John Willis and Avy Stein, who had run the group at Continental Illinois left to form Willis Stein & Partners. They were quickly able to raise over $300 million of investor commitments.[6]

Since its inception in 1995, Willis Stein has raised three private equity funds with nearly $3.0 billion of investor commitments. As of 2007, the firm had announced the launch of a fourth fund. Due to mixed results in its 2000 vintage fund, Willis Stein waited nearly eight years before launching a new fund and when it did so the firm significantly decreased its target fund size relative to its last fund.[7]

Willis & Stein Partners are known for purchasing for profit educational institutions and consolidating resources for additional profit margins. Currently owning over 92 for profit educational with plans to close 22 locations due to low profits.