Tucson, AZ-based multititle mailer Crosstown Traders in February quietly acquired $35 million-plus Carlsbad, CA-based apparel cataloger Monterey Bay Clothing Co. from founder Robert Taylor.South Orange, NJ-based investment bank Anderson Direct initiated the transaction and represented Monterey Bay in the negotiations.
According to Crosstown president/CEO Steve Lightman, the deal included inventory and more than 1 million customer names from the Monterey Bay, California Style, and Last Best Place catalogs. Monterey Bay had bought the assets of Last Best Place in February 2002 from Cincinnati-based Provident Bank, which had been holding the assets for owner Lucinda Heekin and other investors.
Crosstown also mails the Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, Coward Shoes, Lew Magram, Brownstone Studios, Regalia, and Intimate Appeal apparel and accessories catalogs. It also operates Marshfield, WI-based food gifts title Figi’s.
Because of economies of scale, Monterey Bay “made money the first month we bought it,” Lightman says, adding that the title had been losing money. Its marketing department will remain in Carlsbad, but its operations will be handled out of Crosstown’s Tucson distribution center.
Crosstown Traders is looking for additional “midsize women’s apparel businesses in the $35 million-$40 million-plus range that are accretive to earnings,” Lightman says.