Greetings Today magazine, giving you the bigger picture

Clintons sale on the cards

American owners call in advisors to review strategic options for 334-store chain


CLINTONS’ American owners the Weiss family have called in advisors as they weigh up a potential sale of the business they bought out of administration seven years ago.

Sky News reported that they have learned the family, who used to control UK Greetings’ parent company American Greetings, have drafted in professional services firm KPMG to oversee a review of strategic options, raising the possibility of new owners for Clintons.
A spokesman for Clintons told Sky: “Every well-managed company undertakes a periodic and orderly review of strategic options, and this is no different. All Clintons staff are aware of the process and our focus is on the Christmas season and beyond.”
Sky’s sources said a firm decision to run an auction of the company had yet to be taken but looked like the most likely outcome, and prospective bidders have already been contacted by KPMG, who declined to comment.
The UK’s second biggest standalone greetings retailers after Card Factory, Clintons have a 334-store portfolio with 2,500 employees and recently relocated their head office to above their store in Loughton, Essex, as well as opening a creative centre in Corby, Northants, to support the development, manufacture and management of their private label programmes across cards, wrap, gifting and stationery.
The Weiss family took control of the British chain in 2012 from the founding Lewin family when they bought their bank debt from lenders and immediately forced the company into administration.
They now wholly own the retailers following a transaction last year which saw Clayton Dubilier & Rice, the buyout firm, buy a 60 per cent stake in American Greetings with the Weiss family retaining the remaining share.
Under the leadership of Eddie Shepherd since 2017, Clintons' financial performance has seen something of an improvement with the accounts to be filed at Companies House next month expected to show the business made a significantly smaller loss than the £14m they recorded in the year to February 2018.

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