The New York Times has joined the conversation about a possible acquistion of Stumptown Coffee by a private equity firm, and appears to be the first news outlet to get both Duane Sorenson, Stumptown's founding president, and outed investor Alexander S. Panos to talk.
Mr. Panos, the managing director of TSG Consumer Partners, confirmed that he did indeed invest some money into Stumptown, but would not disclose the structure of the investment; insisting, as Stumptown reps have been for the last two days, that the coffee roaster with rock-star caché has not been sold and that Sorenson is still very much in charge of the company.
Duane runs the show, no ifs, ands, or buts, Panos told the NYTimes. He controls the company. I'm just an investor.
The Diner's Journal blog post mentions and links to two documents filed with the Oregon Secretary of State Corporation division that list Mr. Panos as the Authorized Representative of Stumptown Coffee Corp. Panos said he was listed as an officer of the company only for filing purposes.
Presumably, the filings addressed in the article include a liquor license application that reports a change of ownership. Laura Gunderson of the Oregonian reported that Matt Lounsbury, Stumptown's director of operations, dismissed the information on the application as an error. We realize how it caused confusion, but we are looking into the Ps and Qs of what went wrong with that filing, Lounsbury told Gunderson.
Whether or not Stumptown's story still might have some holes in it, investor (NOT owner) Panos makes a point in the NYTimes story: Getting some money to grow your business is not evil.