Clarion Wins Auction for Lenox Assets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Clarion Capital Partners LLC said on Friday that it led a group of investors in winning the bankruptcy auction to acquire the assets of china maker Lenox Group Inc (LENXQ.OB)

The transaction is expected to close in March, at which time Peter Cameron, previously the CEO of Waterford Wedgwood plc and All-Clad Metalcrafters LLC, will become the CEO of Lenox, Clarion said.

Clarion, a New-York based private investment firm, said the sale, which includes the Lenox, Dansk, Gorham and Department 56 brands, is valued at approximately $100 million, including cash and the assumption of some debt.

“With Lenox on firm financial footing, the company can now devote all of its energies to capitalizing on its rich heritage and developing designs for the next generation of customers,” Marc Utay, the founder of Clarion Capital Partners, said in a statement.

Lenox, a 119-old company whose high quality china has graced the tables of U.S. presidents and generations of American newlyweds, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November last year, citing declining revenue and a poor U.S. retail climate.

In mid February, KPS Capital Partners LP said it emerged as the successful bidder for the Lenox assets. But Clarion said the bankruptcy court approved its bid after the bidding process was reopened during a hearing on Feb 25. (Reporting by Nicole Maestri; Editing by Bernard Orr)