Stockholders Approve Acquisition Of Lillian Vernon Corporation by Ripplewood and Zelnickmedia
Rye, New York, June 23, 2003 - Lillian Vernon Corporation (AMEX:LVC) announced today that its stockholders have overwhelmingly approved the merger agreement whereby a private equity fund managed by Ripplewood Holdings L.L.C. will acquire Lillian Vernon Corporation for $7.25 per share in cash. The merger is expected to close within 10 days.
Following the acquisition, Lillian Vernon, the founder of the Company, will serve as the Company's non-executive Chairman as well as the Company's spokesperson. Ripplewood's Industrial Partner, ZelnickMedia, will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Company, and Strauss Zelnick will be the Chairman of the Company. The Company will continue to operate as a leader in the catalog and direct marketing business.
Lillian Vernon Corporation is a 52-year-old catalog and online retailer that markets gift, housewares, gardening, Christmas, and children's products. The Company is one of the largest specialty catalogs in the United States. Lillian Vernon and its subsidiaries publish seven catalog titles: Lillian Vernon, Lilly's Kids, Christmas Memories, Favorites, Personalized Gifts, Rue de Franc and a Sale catalog. The Company also sells its products in the business-to-business and outlet store markets.
Ripplewood manages approximately $4 billion of committed capital through four institutional private equity funds, focusing primarily on investments in the U.S. and Japan. Ripplewood is a pioneer of the "Industrial Partner" investment philosophy, in which the firm forms partnerships with world-class operating executives such as Mr. Zelnick to acquire businesses in targeted industries and pursue pre-defined strategies to enhance the value of these businesses.
ZelnickMedia is a partnership of experienced media executives that owns interests in, advises, and manages an array of media enterprises in recorded music, magazine publishing, CD manufacturing, online games, and media-related software, both in the U.S. and Asia. ZelnickMedia has worked closely with Ripplewood on various investment opportunities since the firm was founded by Strauss Zelnick two years ago.
Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. was the advisor to ZelnickMedia and Ripplewood, Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor to Lillian Vernon Corporation, on the transaction.