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Bain Capital buys 50 percent of company that donates shoes

Bain Capital said Wednesday it has acquired a 50 percent stake in Toms Shoes Inc. , a Los Angeles footwear seller known for giving away a pair of shoes to a poor child for every pair that’s purchased.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a Reuters report said the transaction valued the company at $625 million.

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Toms was founded in 2006 by a young entrepreneur, Blake Mycoskie, after he met kids in a village in Argentina who had no shoes. The company said it has given away 25 million pairs of new shoes since then.

Mycoskie will retain the other 50 percent ownership in the company, the firms said.

“Toms is synonymous with social responsibility and corporate impact and has demonstrated the power of being an authentic, mission-driven organization,” said Ryan Cotton, a principal at Boston-based Bain Capital.

Mycoskie said he plans to give away “at least half of his profits” from the transaction, and to set up a fund that identifies and supports social entrepreneurship and other causes. Bain said it committed to match Mycoskie’s investment in the social entrepreneurship effort.

Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.
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