May 31, 2006, 12:00 AM

Lillian Vernon gets a new owner and CEO

Lillian Vernon Corp. has a new owner and CEO. LV Catalog Holding Corp. has acquired Lillian Vernon from Direct Holdings Worldwide Inc. The new CEO is former Miles Kimball executive Michael D. Muoio

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Direct marketer Lillian Vernon Corp. has a new owner and CEO. Sun Capital Partners Inc., a Boca Raton, FL, investment banking firm, announced that one of its affiliate companies, LV Catalog Holding Corp., has acquired Lillian Vernon from Direct Holdings Worldwide Inc.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. LV Catalog and Sun Capital also named former Miles Kimball senior executive Michael D. Muoio as Lillian Vernon’s new president and CEO.

Sun Capital and LV Catalog are purchasing Lillian Vernon, No. 66 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites, in part because of the catalog and e-commerce company’s established brand name. “Lillian Vernon has one of the most powerful household names in direct marketing,” says Sun Capital managing director Gary Talarico. “More than 47 million Americans are familiar with the Lillian Vernon name.”

Lillian Vernon, which published more than 100 million catalogs in 2005, has been making a substantial investment in its e-commerce operation. About 50% of Lillian Vernon’s annual revenue is now generated by e-commerce, says Sun Capital. As CEO, Muoio will be in charge of increasing Lillian Vernon’s brand awareness and building on the company’s expertise in product personalization. Lillian Vernon offers 14 different types of personalization through its catalog and e-commerce site and personalizes more than 5 million products each year, according to Sun Capital.

Muoio has more than 25 years experience in direct marketing and publishing. Previously Muoio was president and CEO of Miles Kimball, a business unit of Blyth Inc., No. 370 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites

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