Bear Creek Corp., which owns the Harry and David catalog, has been sold by Japan’s Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. to investment fund Wasserstein & Co. for $260 million.
Bear Creek, Medford, OR, is the largest direct marketer of fruits and food gifts in the United States through its Harry and David subsidiary. Harry and David also has more than 145 retail outlets. Bear Creek also operates Jackson & Perkins, which is the nation’s largest mail-order nursery business. Bear Creek had sales of $603 million in March 2003, Yamanouchi said.
Wasserstein focuses primarily on leveraged buyout investments and venture capital investments.
Yamanouchi’s three direct seller units of nutritional and household products, Shaklee Corp. and Inobys in the United States and Shaklee Japan KK, also were sold for $310 million to a partnership formed by RJH Industrial Partners, an affiliate of Ripplewood Holdings LLC, and Activated Holdings LLC. Ripplewood acquired Lillian Vernon Corp. last year for $60 million.
Yamanouchi said it sold the four companies so it could concentrate on its core pharmaceutical business.