For the second time in three years, Lillian Vernon Corp. has changed hands. Direct Holdings Worldwide, which bought the gifts and housewares cataloger in July 2003, has sold it to investment firm Sun Capital Partners.
Almost immediately after announcing the acquisition on May 30, Boca Raton, FL-based Sun Capital sent out another release naming Michael Muoio president/CEO, effective immediately. Muoio was president/CEO of a competing housewares and gifts cataloger, Miles Kimball, until his resignation this past October. Muoio is no stranger to the team at Sun Capital: The investment firm had owned Miles Kimball for 18 months before selling it to manufacturer/marketer Blyth in March 2003. Muoio replaces Jonathan Shapiro as Lillian Vernon’s president.
White Plains, NY-based Lillian Vernon publishes five titles, including Lilly’s Kids, and mails more than 100 million books a year. Sun Capital also owns a majority share of men’s apparel cataloger Bachrach Clothing, which it acquired in February 2005. In July 2004 it had purchased cataloger/retailer Life Uniform from Angelica Corp.
Direct Holdings Worldwide retains its Time-Life direct marketing business.