I figured it was worth a quick look at the only deal Gomez was credited with leading for Advent: Synventive Molding Solutions, a Peabody, Mass.-based provider of hot runner systems and components. [...]No wonder Gomez is running on his career as a Navy SEAL instead of as a businessman. Apparently, his bomber jacket is taking as prominent a role in his campaign as Scott Brown's barn coat and pickup truck. Still, questions remain for would-be backers as to whether this political newbie is worth the investment.
For starters, a source close to the original 2005 transaction tells me that the deal was valued at around $160 million, including debt. A regulatory filing also suggests that around $59 million of equity was involved, but chances are that Advent's actual contribution was less.
By 2011, however, the deal was severely underwater and Synventive was having trouble meeting some of its debt obligations. So Advent swapped most of its equity with creditors, led by Littlejohn & Co. It remains unclear exactly what percentage ownership stake Advent retained, although I have confirmed that it did still have a piece.
The sale for $335 million to Barnes Group (B) came about one year after Littlejohn took over, with a source telling me that Advent received less in proceeds than it originally invested.
“We’re watching the race closely but are not committed to a course of action,” said Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for American Crossroads, the “super PAC” founded by Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s chief strategist.
“For a Senate race to be winnable for Republicans in Massachusetts, you need to have the trifecta of a great candidate, a weak opponent and a perfect environment that brings independents to the polls for Republicans,” Mr. Collegio said. While the first two elements may be in place, he said, it is not yet clear whether the controversies brewing in Washington, particularly involving the Internal Revenue Service, will develop into something that galvanizes voters.
Great candidate? That seems to be a bit of a question mark for at least Crossroads. It's not like they don't have plenty of money to throw around in this race. So there are clearly some questions about Gomez, and for good reason. He's completely mishandled his tax scam problem, absolutely refusing to answer questions about it. He came across as uninterested, uninformed, and dismissive in a high-profile interview on women's health issues and the War on Women, clearly a demographic that he can't afford to lose.
Gomez's service in the military is laudable, and a great point in his biography. But it's what it's he's done since, including stories like this one that reflect on his judgement, that could be keeping some big backers away. With a complete unknown like Gomez, who knows what other skeletons might be lurking?