Redcats USA Sheds Missy Unit

Redcats USA is a little leaner: The multititle apparel mailer announced July 28 it completed the sale of its Missy division to New York-based private equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Missy unit includes Chadwick’s, Metrostyle, and Closeout Catalog Outlet. Under Monomoy the division will be known as the Women’s Apparel Group; Chas Hepler was named CEO and David Myles is the chief operating officer.

Mitchell Schaffer, a managing director for investment banking firm Stifel Nicolaus — representing Redcats parent company PPR’s interests in the deal – says the acquisition has been in the works for several months. “There was a lot of interest,” he says. “You don’t come across an iconic company like Chadwick’s very often, and these companies have great infrastructures and support services.”

This deal was done strategically to focus more on Redcats USA’s other segments, Schaffer says. It’s no secret that Redcats USA has its eyes on its plus-size books, which include Woman Within, Roaman’s, Jessica London and the King Size catalog for men. PPR’s Redcats Group said in January it would “discontinue the activities” of its Missy division in the U.S.

Redcats USA also mails the home products titles BrylaneHome and BrylaneHome Kitchen and owns sporting goods merchants The Sportsman’s Guide and The Golf Warehouse. In September it bought plus-size women’s apparel retailer United Retail Group for $198.9 million. United Retail Group operates 483 Avenue stores along with the Avenue.com Website.

At the time, Redcats USA CEO Eric Faintreny told Multichannel Merchant: “We want to be a leader in the plus-size multichannel market in the U.S. We want to focus on resources in that particular segment.”

Chris Shannon, a managing director with investment firm Berkery, Noyes & Co., applauds Redcats USA’s move to sell the Missy titles. “It’s an excellent idea to be the market leader in a few segments, rather than trying to dilute a company’s value across too many sectors–especially in today’s challenging market conditions,” he says.

Lee Helman, a managing director with investment firm Financo, believes the business “needs some TLC,” but has a lot of value. In its heyday, he says, “Chadwick’s was a terrific business with loyal customers.”

The off-price missy/women’s market has become more competitive, Helman notes, “but the Chadwick’s brand has real staying power and relevance with the consumer.”

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