With Americans poised to spend nearly $20 billion to celebrate Valentine’s Day, American Greetings Corp. has gained a new partner. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has agreed to acquire 60 percent of the company, which designs, makes and distributes greeting cards as well as gift packaging, party goods and stationery products. The Weiss family, descendants of Jacob Sapirstein, who founded the company in 1906, will retain a 40 percent stake in the business. The family took American Greetings private in 2013.
Cleveland-American Greetings holds the number one position by volume in the $6 billion North American greeting card market, according to the company. It’s known for several brands, including American Greetings, Papyrus, Recycled Paper Greetings, Gibson, and Carlton Cards.
“We believe the deep operating expertise that Clayton, Dubilier & Rice brings to us makes them an ideal strategic partner,” says American Greetings co-CEO Zev Weiss.
CD&R is a New York-based private equity that focuses on the consumer, business services and healthcare sectors. In 2017, the private equity firm agreed to buy a majority stake in business consulting firm Capco from Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (NYSE: FIS) for $477 million, and a majority stake in fluid power products seller SunSource Holdings.
Barclays, Deutsche Bank Securities, Citizens Capital Markets, ING Financial Markets LLC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, and KeyBanc Capital Markets are advising CD&R, which is being represented by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Jones Day and Centerview are advising American Greetings.