In January of 2016, Mills Fleet Farm was sold to global investment firm KKR. In late 2015, Reuters reported buyout firm KKR & Co was in the lead to acquire Mills Fleet Farm for more than $1.2 billion, prevailing over other private equity firms in an auction for the privately held Mills Fleet.
Stewart C. Mills Sr. founded Mills Companies when he purchased the Lively Auto Company in Brainerd in 1922. Stewart Mills Sr., along with his sons, Henry Mills II and Stewart Mills Jr., founded Fleet Farm in 1955. The Lively Building in downtown Brainerd long served as the corporate headquarters for Mills Fleet Farm. In 1999, the company expanded and remodeled the Lively Building, which sits at the corner of Laurel and South