Bain Capital, the investment firm that Mitt Romney made famous, made a leveraged buyout that saved the site of Barack and Michelle Obamas’ first kiss.
In 2005, Bain and two other private equity firms purchased Dunkin’ Brands Incorporated for $2.425 billion, according to a 2006 company press release.
Dunkin’ Brands is the parent company of Baskin-Robbins, at whose Hyde Park, Chicago location the president and his future wife Michelle went on their first date — and shared their first lip lock.
President Obama took the first lady out on a date in 1989 when the two worked at the same Chicago law firm, according to a Chicago Tribune article.
A 3,000-pound granite boulder now occupies the corner of Dorchester and 53rd Street, outside the ice cream parlor, bearing a quote about the couple’s first date.
“On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb. I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate,” the inscription states.
In 2011, Dunkin’ Brands raised $400 million for its IPO, according to The Associated Press. The IPO allowed it to pay off most of its $475 million in high-interest debt.
As of June 30, 2012, Dunkin’ Brands had $3.174 billion in total assets. To help orchestrate the company’s turnaround, Bain and other private equity firms hired a new executive chef and new head of technology, and added health-conscious items to its subsidiary’s menus.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the CEO of Bain Capital from 1984 to 2002. He also co-founded the company.