Theodore J. Forstmann, a leveraged buyout leader who died Sunday, was a pioneer in raising money from pension funds to invest in the deals.
Mr. Forstmann died at age 71 of brain cancer, according to a statement from IMG Worldwide. Mr. Forstmann was chairman and CEO of IMG, a sports, fashion and media licensing and talent agency company, following his time at Forstmann Little, a private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts he co-founded in 1978.
Under Mr. Forstmann's leadership, Forstmann Little made 31 acquisitions and investments, the IMG statement said.
“Recently, Mr. Forstmann joined some of the wealthiest individuals and families in America as part of The Giving Pledge — a commitment to donate the majority of his wealth during his lifetime to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations closest to him,” the IMG statement said.
Pension fund investors in Forstmann Little funds over the years included Amoco Corp., now part of BP PLC; Boeing Co.; DaimlerChrysler Ltd.; 3M Co.; Eastman Kodak Co.; American Express Co.; Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.; Honeywell Inc., Dresser Industries; American Telephone & Telegraph Co., now part of AT&T Inc.; GTE Corp., a predecessor of Verizon Communications Inc.; General Electric Investment Corp., which ran GE's pension fund; Texas Instruments Inc.; Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association, Massachusetts Pension Reserve Investment Trust, District of Columbia Retirement Board, according to Pensions & Investments' archive.
In 2002, Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds, Hartford, filed a lawsuit in state superior court against Forstmann Little, seeking to recover more than $100 million in pension assets invested with the private equity firm that it allegedly “wasted and wiped out,” according to statement by the funds at the time. The Connecticut funds invested $200 million in two Forstmann Little funds. The lawsuit's allegations involved Forstmann Little's investments with McLeodUSA Inc. and XO Communications Inc., both telecommunications companies, according to a 2002 P&I story.
In 2004, a jury found Forstmann Little breached its contractual agreements with the Connecticut funds but awarded no damages, according to a 2004 joint statement by Richard Blumenthal, then-Connecticut attorney general, and Denise L. Nappier, current Connecticut state treasurer and sole trustee of the Connecticut funds.
Ms. Nappier couldn't be reached for comment.
Mr. Forstmann is survived by his two sons, Siya and Everest, and brothers Anthony and John, and sisters Marina Forstmann Day and Elissa Forstmann Moran, according to the IMG statement.
Visitation will be at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, 1076 Madison Ave., New York, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. EST on Monday and from noon to 3 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. A memorial Mass will be held at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan at 10 a.m. Nov. 29, the IMG statement said.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Children's Scholarship Fund, which Mr. Forstmann co-founded in 1998, the IMG statement said.