Eight months after parent company Sun Capital Partners announced its intent to sell Miles Kimball, the marketer of moderate-priced gifts and home decor on March 10 agreed to be sold to Greenwich, CT-based Blyth, a $1.29 billion manufacturer/marketer of candles, home fragrances, and gifts. Chicago-based investment bank Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin represented Oshkosh, WI-based Miles Kimball in the transaction of approximately $65 million in cash. The deal includes Miles Kimball’s sister catalog, upscale frames and albums catalog Exposures.
The acquisition, which was scheduled to close by early April, is “a great thing for us,” says Miles Kimball chairman/president/CEO Mike Muoio. Blyth will offer new opportunities for Miles Kimball, Muoio says, particularly with its considerable global sourcing and logistics capabilities. For instance, Blyth’s 45-person global sourcing team can leverage significant savings on sourcing and importing products.
For the buyer’s part, the deal gives Blyth entrée into the catalog and Internet channels, “two areas of distribution we did not have,” says spokesperson Tyler Schuessler. Through its Blyth fragrances division and its home decor and gifts division — which will now include Miles Kimball — Blyth sells to mass-market retailers such as Wal-Mart and Hallmark. The company also includes direct sales business PartyLite, through which 50,000 agents nationwide sell candles and decorating accessories to consumers. According to Schuessler, Blyth plans to continue growingg the home decor and gifts division through acquisition.
Miles Kimball had been acquired by Boca Raton, FL-based Sun Capital Partners in June 2001. The cataloger, which mails about 55 million books annually, will remain in Oshkosh. Miles Kimball employs about 275 full-time workers and operates call centers in Las Vegas and Oshkosh as well as a distribution center in Oshkosh.
The acquisition will be accretive to the publicly traded Blyth’s sales and earnings in fiscal year 2004. According to the financial news Website TheDeal.com, 2002 sales at Miles Kimball were about $120 million, and the company was expected to generate $10 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the year ended Dec. 31. Muoio would not confirm the financials, but he notes that “we’ve had a record year EBITDA wise and held our own in a very difficult environment.”