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​Investment Firm to Purchase Lillian Vernon Corp.

The New York Times, 04.17.03

The Lillian Vernon Corporation, a catalog and Internet seller of monogrammed knickknacks and items for the kitchen and garden, agreed to be acquired and taken private by a closely held investment firm for about $60.5 million. The company said its chairwoman, founder and largest shareholder, Lillian Vernon, 76, would give up her daily responsibilities and be a nonexecutive chairwoman. Ms. Vernon began the business at her kitchen table in 1951 with money she got as a wedding gift.

Ripplewood Holdings, which manages a private equity fund, and a partner, ZelnickMedia, may expand the business to people who shop on television and increase online sales, Jim Friedlich, a partner at ZelnickMedia, said. Ripplewood, which is based in New York and manages about $4 billion, and ZelnickMedia will pay $7.25 in cash for each share of Lillian Vernon, the companies said. The price was 73 percent more than the retailer's closing price on Tuesday. Lillian Vernon is based in Rye, N.Y.