NEW YORK, Feb. 27 /CNW/ -- Lenox Group Inc. ("Lenox") and Clarion Capital
Partners, LLC ("Clarion") announced today that a group led by Clarion has won
the bankruptcy auction to acquire substantially all the assets of Lenox, the
well-known china, tabletop and giftware manufacturer and marketer. Peter
Cameron, previously the CEO of Waterford Wedgwood plc and All-Clad
Metalcrafters LLC will become the new CEO of Lenox as soon as the transaction
closes. While the specifics of the sale are not being released, the
transaction, which includes the Lenox, Dansk, Gorham and Department 56 brands,
is believed to be valued at approximately $100 million inclusive of cash and
assumption of certain liabilities of Lenox. The bankruptcy court approved the
Clarion bid after the bidding process was reopened during a hearing on
Wednesday, February 25, 2009.
Marc Utay, the founder and Managing Partner of Clarion Capital Partners
said, "We are delighted to have the opportunity to invest in this truly iconic
American brand. Generations of American families have embraced Lenox both in
their everyday lives and on special holiday occasions when they gather with
family and friends. With Lenox on firm financial footing, the Company can now
devote all of its energies to capitalizing on its rich heritage and developing
designs for the next generation of customers. Also, I am pleased to be
working in partnership with Peter Cameron for the fourth time."
Peter Cameron, Lenox's incoming CEO commented, "Joining Lenox represents
an extraordinary opportunity to work with one of the finest American brands.
Lenox represents the high water mark in fine American china. Its product
design and manufacturing capabilities are unrivaled within the US and around
the world. When a customer purchases a Lenox product, he or she is purchasing
the same quality and design aesthetic that has been used in the White House by
each President since 1918 and is routinely used by the State Department as a
gift from our nation to visiting dignitaries and royalty from around the
world. How could anyone not be excited about the opportunity to work with
such an American treasure?"
Marc Pfefferle, Lenox's current CEO, said, "We are pleased that Lenox has
found a home with the Clarion team which has the expertise and capital to grow
our great brands. Certainly, Peter Cameron has the knowledge and experience
to provide the leadership and guidance to develop the full potential of our
brands and our employees."
The transaction is expected to close in March 2009.
Miller Buckfire & Co., LLC is acting as investment banker and financial
advisor to the acquisition group and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is providing
legal counsel. Berenson & Company is acting as financial advisor to Lenox
while Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP is providing legal counsel and Carl Marks
Advisory Group LLC is providing management advice.
Clarion Capital Partners, LLC, is a New-York based private investment
firm. The firm invests in consumer products, business services, healthcare
services, specialty financial services, retail and niche media and
entertainment. Previous and current investments by the professionals of
Clarion include All-Clad Metalcrafters (cookware), Hartmann (fine leather and
travel goods), Snapple Beverage Company, The Oceanaire, Inc. (fine dining
seafood restaurants), Strategic Outsourcing Inc. (business services), Great
Northwest Insurance Company, Reliant HealthCare Professionals, Inc. (medical
staffing), Crowe Paradis Services Corporation (insurance outsourcing), Imax
Corporation (movies) and Cross MediaWorks Inc. (media services).
Lenox Group Inc. is a market leader in high quality tabletop, giftware
and collectible products sold under the Lenox brand founded in 1889, as well
as the Dansk, Gorham and Department 56 brand names. The company sells it
products through wholesale customers who operate gift, specialty and
department store locations in the United States and Canada, company-operated
retail stores and direct to consumer channels.
For further information:
For further information: Hampton Carney of Paul Wilmot Communications,
+1-212-206-7447, firstname.lastname@example.org, for Clarion Capital Partners, LLC