Catalog Holdings Sells Spiegel Brands

Catalog Holdings, a Portfolio Company of Golden Gate Capital, in September sold Spiegel Brands to an investor group led by Granite Creek Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Spiegel Brands includes the Spiegel, Newport News, Carabella and AB Lambdin fashion apparel brands.

Golden Gate Capital, which acquired Spiegel Brands in 2004, also owns Orchard Brands, a multichannel marketer of apparel and home products geared toward consumers over age 55. The unit includes the Appleseed’s, Blair, Draper’s & Damon’s, Haband, Norm Thompson, Tog Shop and WinterSilks catalogs.

Orchard Brands, which has annual revenue of more than $1 billion, in August bought the Crosstown Traders apparel titles from Charming Shoppes. The eight Crosstown catalogs include Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, Lew Magram and Coward Shoe.

Golden Gate Capital spokesperson Joelle Kenealey declined comment on the sale. But Stefan Kaluzny, managing director at Golden Gate Capital, said in a release: “In addition to continuing to seek additional acquisitions for Orchard Brands, Catalog Holdings will aggressively pursue multichannel retail acquisitions where our deep experience allows us to add operational or strategic value.”

The sale of Spiegel Brands, Kaluzny said, was “a natural step in managing our portfolio of brands as we had grown profitability dramatically and produced very attractive investment returns over our four years of ownership.”

Indeed, Orchard Brands can be more of a strong niche player in the age 55-plus category by using the funds from the sale of the Spiegel Group, says Chris Shannon, managing director with investment firm Berkery, Noyes & Co. “Spiegel is more general, and the name of the game in catalog companies is identify and dominate a category,” he says.

Stuart Rose, managing director for investment bank Tully & Holland, agrees. “Orchard Brands is sharpening its focus, so [the divestiture] is not a surprise.”