JH Partners takes stake in AmeriMark

JH Partners is at it again: On March 18 the San Francisco-based private equity firm bought 75% of AmeriMark Direct, a multititle mailer of women’s apparel, cosmetics, jewelry, and health-related products. The deal gives JH Partners a controlling share in the Cleveland-based cataloger.

The $100 million-plus AmeriMark, whose titles include The Windsor Collection, Anthony Richards, Beauty Boutique, Healthy Living, and Complements, last year mailed 85 million-90 million catalogs. Its customers are on average over 50 years old with an income of roughly $30,000.

Gary Giesler, AmeriMark’s former controlling shareholder, will continue as chairman/CEO of the company. Members of senior management will remain investors in the company. “AmeriMark’s new partners will be especially valuable during this next stage of our company’s growth, as we add new catalog titles via acquisition and broaden our customer base,” Giesler says, although he won’t provide specifics.

JH Partners owns kitchen tools mailer Chef’s Catalog, which it acquired from Neiman Marcus this past November. The private equity firm had previously invested in gifts catalog Walter Drake, which it sold in December 2003. Other holdings include Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Performance Bicycle Shop.

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