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Blair Poised for Next Phase of Growth Under New Ownership
WARREN Pa., (April 30, 2007) – Blair Corporation, (AMEX: BL) (www.blair.com), a national catalog and multi-channel direct marketer of women’s and men’s apparel and home products, and Appleseed’s Topco, Inc., a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, announced today that they have completed their transaction.
Blair common stock ceased trading on the American Stock Exchange and will no longer be listed. Blair shareholders will receive $42.50 for each share of Blair stock. Blair shareholders will be sent a packet of information from Computershare Shareholder Services, Inc., the exchange agent in this transaction, instructing them how to surrender their shares for cash payment. Shareholders should not submit their shares to either Blair or Appleseed’s Topco since the transfer and payment portion of the transaction is being handled entirely by Computershare Shareholder Services, Inc.
Blair will now operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Appleseed’s Topco, Inc, one of the largest direct marketers of women’s apparel in the country. The combined entity has annual revenues of over $1.1 billion. Blair will continue to do business out of its current facilities in northwestern Pennsylvania. Other apparel brands operating as part of the Appleseed’s group include Appleseed’s, Draper’s & Damon’s, Haband, Norm Thompson, Sahalie, Solutions and The Tog Shop.
Blair President and Chief Executive Officer, Al Lopez, commented on the transaction, saying, “Blair is excited about the possibilities for growth afforded to us in this merger. Strategic cooperation between companies is the emerging model in the global economy. We’re pleased that shareholders have empowered us to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Neale Attenborough, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Appleseed’s Topco, Inc., said, “We’re pleased to welcome Blair to the Appleseed’s Topco family. Blair has established its brand among value-conscious consumers over nearly a century and is, in many ways, one of the pioneers in the direct marketing industry. We look forward to the opportunity to serve Blair’s loyal customers and work closely with Blair’s talented employees to help expand its market share.”
Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director, Golden Gate Capital, said, “Blair is a marquee brand supported by nearly a century of consistently high quality service and operations. This is an important addition to our unparalleled portfolio of leaders in the women’s specialty retail apparel market. The acquisition of Blair takes Catalog Holdings another step closer to $2 billion of revenue and demonstrates Golden Gate Capital’s commitment to building a strategically significant player in the multi-channel retailing industry.”
Golden Gate Capital is one of the most active investors in the women’s specialty retail market, with an emphasis on the direct channel. Its current portfolio includes Spiegel, Newport News, Appleseed’s, Draper’s & Damon’s, Norm Thompson and Haband, among other well-known brands.
Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor and provided a fairness opinion to Blair Corporation. Patton Boggs, LLP served as legal advisor to Blair Corporation.
Headquartered in Warren, Pennsylvania, Blair Corporation sells a broad range of women’s and men’s apparel and home products through direct mail marketing and its Web site www.blair.com. Blair Corporation employs approximately 1,900 associates (worldwide) and operates facilities and retail outlets in Northwestern Pennsylvania as well as a catalog outlet in Wilmington, Delaware. The Company has annual sales of approximately $426 million. For more information, visit www.blair.com.
About Appleseed’s Topco, Inc.
A portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, Appleseed’s Topco, Inc. is a leading, multi-channel marketer of apparel and home products focused on serving the needs of the rapidly growing market segment of women and men above the age of fifty. With more than $1.1 billion of revenues, Appleseed’s provides quality products to consumers through the direct channels of catalog, Internet and retail, with a relentless focus on delivering superior service. Appleseed’s Topco is comprised of the brands Appleseeds, Draper’s & Damon’s, Haband, Norm Thompson, Sahalie, Solutions and the Tog Shop.
About Golden Gate Capital
Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity firm with over $3.4 billion of capital under management dedicated to investing in change-intensive opportunities. The firm’s charter is to partner with world-class management teams to make equity 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 or investing with management partners across a wide range of industries and transaction types. For more information, visit www.goldengatecap.com.