AmeriMark Buying Dr. Leonard’s?

According to several published reports, multititle marketer AmeriMark Direct has agreed to buy fellow multititle cataloger Dr. Leonard’s Healthcare Corp. in a deal that includes $315 million in debt. When reached for a statement, AmeriMark chairman/CEO Gary Giesler declined to comment; calls to AmeriMark’s owner, private equity player JH Partners, went unreturned.

The $220 million-plus Dr. Leonard’s Healthcare Corp. distributes 90 million Dr. Leonard’s catalogs of home healthcare products for seniors. The company distributes about 101 million copies of its Carol Wright Gifts book annually.

AmeriMark’s titles include Anthony Richards, Beauty Boutique, Complements by Anthony Richards, Essentials by Anthony Richards, Healthy Living, Time for Me, and Windsor Collection. The catalogs sell women’s apparel, shoes, cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry, accessories, and health-related merchandise.

In addition to AmeriMark, JH Partners owns kitchenware mailer Chef’s Catalog, cosmetics merchant Bare Escentuals, and furniture cataloger Design Within Reach.

If the deal does go through, says Lee Helman, managing director with New York-based investment bank Financo, “it’s a smart strategic fit for AmeriMark. Though the performance of Dr. Leonards and Carol Wright’s have been spotty, it does give AmeriMark a big business, more than doubling the size of the company.”

The only question mark is the high purchase price, Helman notes. “I’m uncertain of the back end synergies on fulfillment because neither company has the capacity to absorb the others’ fulfillment or call center efforts.”

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