Brown-Forman Sells Lenox Brand to Department 56 for $190M

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Spirits company Brown-Forman Corp. has agreed to sell tabletop division Lenox Inc. to giftware company Department 56 Inc. for $190 million in cash, both parties said last week.


The Lenox business includes the Lenox, Dansk and Gorham tabletop collections, which are sold through department and specialty stores as well as catalogs and the Internet. Net sales totaled $465 million in its most recent fiscal year.


"The environment for this business has been challenging for several years as evidenced by the weakness throughout the U.S. tabletop and giftware industry," Brown-Forman chairman/CEO Owsley Brown II said in a statement. "Given the difficult competitive environment for this industry and our robust auction process, we believe Brown-Forman has received an attractive price and terms for Lenox."


Department 56 expects to Lenox's complementary product lines and distribution channels will reduce the seasonality of its sales in addition to nearly quadrupling its annual volume from $165 million to $630 million.


The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.


Department 56 expects to retain the current Lenox management team and operate the business in the near term as a separate unit.


Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM News.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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