Blair Buy a Done Deal

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – Golden Gate Capital’s Appleseed’s Topco affiliate has completed its acquisition of Blair Corp, the online and catalog retailer of apparel and home products, for $173.6 million.

Blair is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Appelseed’s which, with the addition of Blair’s $426 million in annual revenues, will have sales of more than $1.1 billion. Other properties within the Appleseed’s portfolio include Appleseed’s, Draper’s & Damon’s, Haband, Norm Thompson, Sahalie, Solutions and The Tog Shop.

Trading in Blair on the American Stock Exchange has ceased and the firm will no longer be listed. Shareholders will receive $42.50 in cash for each share of Blair stock surrendered.

Blair shareholders approved the transaction April 24. Its consummation signifies that other conditions necessary for closing have been met.

In a press release, the companies said that Blair will continue to operate from its current headquarters in Warren, Pa.

“Blair is excited about the possibilities for growth afforded to us in this merger,” said Al Lopez, president and chief executive officer of Blair. “Strategic cooperation between companies is the emerging model in the global economy. We’re pleased that shareholders have empowered us to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Neale Attenborough, chairman and CEO of Appleseed’s, said Blair “has established its brand among value-conscious consumers over nearly a century and is, in many ways, one of the pioneers in the direct marketing industry. We look forward to the opportunity to serve Blair’s loyal customers and work closely with Blair’s talented employees and help expand its market share.”

Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Golden Gate Capital, commented, “This is an important addition to our unparalleled portfolio of leaders in the women’s specialty retail apparel market. The acquisition of Blair takes Catalog Holdings another step closer to $2bn of revenue and demonstrates Golden Gate Capital’s commitment to building a strategically significant player in the multi-channel retailing industry.”

Golden Gate had previously acquired the Spiegel and Newport News brands that were part of the bankrupt Spiegel Group.