ACQUISITIONS: SPECIALTY FINDS BUYER

Golub Associates takes the $46 million wig cataloger private

On Dec. 3, less than three weeks after announcing it would discontinue its underperforming Paula’s Hatbox accessories catalog, the publicly traded Specialty Catalog Corp. signed a letter of intent to be acquired by privately owned Golub Associates.

An affiliate of Golub PS-GP LLC, which is the general partner of New York investment partnership Leg Partners III SIBC, Golub already owned a 13.69% share of the $46 million Specialty. Golub will now buy all of the South Easton, MA-based cataloger’s outstanding stock for a cash price of $5 per share; at the time of the announcement, Specialty was trading at$3.562 per share. Specialty chairman/CEO/president Steven Bock, who had been expected to resign at the end of December 1999, will now remain with the multititle wigs and continuing-education cataloger until June 30.

“With so much attention on Wall Street dedicated to pure Internet businesses, it’s hard for a company our size to get traction in the public market,” Bock says. “Now we’ll be able to step back and focus on building our core business without the issues associated with a public company.” Specialty plans to invest in building its business-to-business and Internet businesses.

Specialty targets white women ages 45 years and up with its flagship Paula Young wig catalog, and African-American women with its Especially Yours wig title. The company also owns Daxbourne, a U.K. wig and accessories wholesaler/cataloger. Its SC Publishing division, which mails the Western Schools continuing-education catalog, in September acquired American Healthcare Institute, a provider of seminars for healthcare professionals.

Specialty first put itself into play in 1998, but in early January ’99 took itself off the market, saying that the stock price at the time did not reflect the value of the company.

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