Golden Gate Capital Completes Recapitalization of Venus and Wintersilks

Venus, WinterSilks to join Catalog Holdings’ family of leading men’s and women’s specialty retail brands

SAN FRANCISCO (November 10, 2006) – Golden Gate Capital announced today that it has completed the recapitalization of Venus Swimwear Inc., WinterSilks LLC and Venus Manufacturing in partnership with the companies’ existing shareholders. Venus is known for its strong beach-inspired lifestyle brand of fun and sexy swimwear, apparel and accessories and is considered the nation’s largest direct mail and online marketer of women’s swimwear. The women’s swimwear market is one of the fastest growing segments of the $100 billion women’s apparel market. WinterSilks, a subsidiary of Venus, is the leading direct marketer of silk undergarments, apparel and accessories in the U.S. and targets affluent, educated men and women over the age of 50. The aging baby-boomers constitute the fastest growing segment of the population and is expected to grow by more than 45 percent over the next 15 years.

The recapitalization was completed by Golden Gate’s portfolio company, Catalog Holdings Inc., which, with annual revenues in excess of $1 billion, is one of the largest direct retailers in the nation. The acquisition of Venus and WinterSilks adds two complementary brands to Catalog Holdings portfolio of leading specialty apparel brands which includes Spiegel, Newport News, Carabella, AB Lambdin, Norm Thompson, Solutions, Sahalie, Haband, Appleseed’s, Draper’s & Damon’s and The Tog Shop. Venus, founded in 1982, is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida and will continue to operate at its current locations, including its buying office in Boca Raton, Florida, its manufacturing facilities in upstate New York and its WinterSilks divisional headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin.

“We are thrilled to welcome Venus and WinterSilks to the Catalog Holdings family,” said Stefan Kaluzny a Managing Director at Golden Gate Capital. “The addition of these two growing and very profitable brands gives us a great opportunity to better serve a larger share of two of the most attractive segments of the apparel market. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the existing management team to continue the great success they have achieved over the past two decades. Furthermore, adding these two brands to our eleven existing catalog titles creates greater opportunities for each brand to benefit from the scale and expertise of the group.”

Echoing these sentiments, Daryle Scott, Venus and WinterSilks’ CEO and Chairman added, “This is a very exciting time and a positive partnership for Venus and WinterSilks. With Golden Gate Capital’s expertise in specialty retail and strong financial backing we have found the best possible partner for the future. We look forward to being a part of this great family of brands and to continuing to offer the excellent merchandise and customer service that our loyal customers have come to expect.”

Following the successful acquisitions of Newport News in June of 2004, Spiegel in July of 2004, Appleseed’s and Draper’s & Damon’s in November of 2005, Norm Thompson, Solutions and Sahalie in March of 2006, Carabella and AB Lambdin in September of 2006, Haband in October of 2006, and now Venus & WinterSilks, Golden Gate Capital has become one of the leading investors in the men’s and women’s specialty retail market, with a focus on the direct channel. While each title will continue to operate independently, significant opportunities exist for each brand to benefit from being part of an industry-leading portfolio. Golden Gate continues to seek additional acquisitions of similar brands.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Venus and WinterSilks

Founded in 1982 and 1983 respectively, Venus and WinterSilks are recognized as leaders in their respective markets. Well-known for its trademark swim offering and domestic manufacturing, the Venus brand has evolved into a beach-inspired lifestyle brand of fun and sexy swimwear and apparel while WinterSilks has cemented its position as the nation’s largest direct marketer of silk undergarments, apparel and accessories. Both brands market their products through catalogs, retail stores and websites. For more information please visit and

About Golden Gate Capital

Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with approximately $2.5 billion of capital under management. Golden Gate Capital is dedicated to partnering with world-class management teams to invest in change-intensive, growth businesses. Golden Gate targets investments in situations where there is a demonstrable opportunity to significantly enhance a company’s value. The principals of Golden Gate Capital have a long and successful history of investing with management partners across a wide range of industries and transaction types. For additional information, visit