Notable deals of the past 12 months

JUNE 2008

  • Provide Commerce acquired gifts cataloger Red Envelope in a bankruptcy auction.

  • Staples acquired fellow office supplies distributor Corporate Express for $2.6 billion.

JULY 2008

  • Party supplies and costumes merchant Celebrate Express was sold to holding company Liberty Media (parent company of Provide Commerce) for $31 million in cash.

  • Highsmith, a direct marketer of library supplies, furniture and equipment, was bought by the Lab Safety Supply division of W.W. Grainger.

  • Airgas, a marketer of industrial gases and safety gear, acquired Oilind Safety and Refron.

  • Monomoy Capital Partners bought the Missy apparel division of Redcats USA.


  • Food gifts mailer Harry & David acquired citrus fruits marketer Cushman Fruit Co.

  • Blyth bought women’s apparel and personal care products merchant As We Change for $2.3 million.

  • The assets of DMSI were purchased by a new Swiss Colony unit called Midwest Catalog Brands.


  • Multititle mailer Orchard Brands, a Golden Gate Capital company, bought most of the Crosstown Traders apparel and shoes catalogs from Charming Shoppes. The transaction did not include food gifts cataloger Figi’s.

  • Boca Java, an online gourmet coffee marketer, acquired assets of Web coffee merchant Café Belmondo from The Thompson Group.

  • Catalog Holdings, a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, sold Spiegel Brands to an investor group led by Granite Creek Partners.

  • Teen apparel retailer Delia’s sold its extreme-sports gear merchant CCS to retail chain Foot Locker for $102 million in cash.


  • Multititle gardening mailer Gardens Alive! bought gifts book The Paragon, a former BlueSky Brands title. Gardens Alive! in May 2008 had purchased games catalog Bits and Pieces, two months after BlueSky Brands shut down.


  • Private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, through an affiliate called Childrenswear, acquired children’s clothing cataloger/retailer Hanna Andersson Corp. and Gerber Childrenswear for $179 million.


  • Airgas purchased Great Lakes Oxygen, a distributor of gas and welding supplies.


  • Healthcare products and services provider Henry Schein acquired Noviko, a distributor of veterinary supplies in the Czech Republic; DNA Anthos Impianti (DNA), the Italian distribution arm of Cefla Dental; and Medka, a Berlin-based provider of medical products and services.


  • Toy and baby products retailer Toys ‘R’ Us acquired the e-commerce site from The Parent Co.; the deal also included the e-commerce site and parenting resource site.

MARCH 2009

  • Networking products cataloger Black Box Corp. purchased Scottel Voice & Data.

  • Henry Schein bought Ortho Organizers, a manufacturer/distributor of orthodontics items.

MAY 2009

  • Toy and baby products retailer Toys ‘R’ Us acquired upscale toy merchant FAO Schwarz.

  • Computers manufacturer/marketer Systemax won a bankruptcy auction for the Circuit City e-commerce business and brand.

JUNE 2009

  • Newport Corp. acquired the New Focus business and product portfolio in an exchange of assets and cash with Oclaro.

  • Patterson Medical, a division of Patterson Cos., bought Empi Therapy Solutions from DJO.

  • Talbots sells J. Jill to Golden Gate Capital.

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