Orchard Brands Acquires Linen Source; Thompson Group to Focus on Cigar Biz

Orchard Brands, a multititle mailer of catalogs that target consumers over age 55, has acquired home goods title Linen Source. Investment bank Tully & Holland, which initiated the transaction and acted as the exclusive investment banking adviser to Linen Source, announced the deal on March 15.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tampa, FL-based Linen Source had been part of The Thompson Group, which also included Casual Living USA and Thompson Cigar Co. Coupled with last month’s sale of Casual Living USA, The Thompson Group now plans to focus solely on Thompson Cigar Co. – the oldest mail-order cigar company (founded in 1915) in the United States.

Based in Beverly, MA, Orchard Brands is a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital. Orchard Brands is a $1.1 billion multichannel marketer of apparel and home products.

In its press release, Tully & Holland said Orchard Brands acquired Linen Source to broaden its product offering and provide a diverse selection of high quality bedding and home décor products to its target customer. Orchard Brands will consolidate Linen Source’s business operations into its existing organization.

Stuart Rose, managing director with Tully & Holland, says Orchard Brands is the perfect home for Linen Source.

“I see Orchard Brands doing a good job with Linen Source,” he explains. “It’s a category they’re represented in — home furnishings – and Orchard Brands has a database the size of Godzilla.”

Linen Source was founded in 1943 as Colonial Maid Curtains and was purchased by the Franzblau family in 1990. After a brief transition, the product mix shifted to focus on bedding. Linen Source offers a diverse selection of high quality, proprietary bedding and home décor products. Linen Source targets women over the age of 45 with a household income over $60,000.

Alix Franzblau, treasurer of The Thompson Group, said in the release: “We are excited about Linen Source’s opportunity for future growth within the Orchard Brands collection of top specialty clothing, footwear, household and health brands. This sale, in combination with the sale of Casual Living USA, completes the restructuring of The Thompson Group and allows us to focus on the continued growth of The Thompson Group’s remaining business, Thompson Cigar.”

Rose says the transaction was a “good, smooth process. We expect both companies to grow and prosper.”

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