Federated sells Arizona Mail Order, Figi’s

Nine months after putting all of its Fingerhut Cos. titles on the market, Federated Department Stores has sold the Figi’s and Arizona Mail Order catalogs to JP Morgan Partners. Terms of the deal, which was announced Oct. 30, were not disclosed. JP Morgan Partners is the private equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

The Tucson, AZ-based Arizona Mail Order catalogs include apparel and accessories titles Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair Lifestyles, Willow Ridge, Brownstone Studio, Lew Magram, and Coward Shoes. Old Pueblo Traders and Coward are based in Tucson, AZ. The other titles are in Greenwich, CT. Food gifts catalog Figi’s is based in Marshfield, WI.

The new entity will be known as Crosstown Traders. It has 3.7 million active customers. Federated continued to operate the catalogs after putting them up for sale. Such was not the case with its Fingerhut general merchandise title, which folded before it was acquired in July. The Fingerhut catalog is set to relaunch in early November.

Steve Lightman, formerly the president of Arizona Mail Order, will head Crosstown Traders as president/CEO. Former Fingerhut president Michael Sherman is vice chairman.

“Given its financial strength and history of backing successful direct marketing enterprises, JP Morgan Partners is an ideal partner for Crosstown Traders,” Lightman said in a statement. “We remain committed to providing our customers with the quality, selection, and service to which they have become accustomed and deserve.”

Federated now has only one property from the former Fingerhut Cos. to unload: general merchandise catalog Popular Club. Its Bloomingdale’s by Mail catalog never fell under the Fingerhut Cos. umbrella.

GLC Securities Corp., an affiliate of Gruppo, Levey, and Co., and Capital Run acted as financial adviser to JP Morgan Partners. Credit Suisse First Boston was financial adviser to Federated.