CD&R purchases controlling interest in American Greetings

Published 9:27 am Monday, February 19, 2018

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and American Greetings Corporation announced in a press release on Tuesday that CD&R-managed funds will acquire a 60-percent ownership stake in American Greetings.

American Greetings has a plant on Lebanon Road in Danville.

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According to the release, American Greetings was founded in 1906 by Jacob Sapirstein and is now run by his descendants, members of the Weiss family. They will retain a 40 percent stake in the business. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

American Greetings has the number one position by volume in the $6 billion North American greeting card market and provides products to more than 60,000 retail stores, with a portfolio of 440 patents, more than 2,500 copyrights, and 1,000 trademarks, according to the release.

John Beeder, current president and chief operating officer of the American Greetings Corporation, will become chief executive officer. Current co-CEOs Zev Weiss and Jeffrey Weiss will participate on the board along with Morry Weiss, current chairman, according to the release.

David Scheible, an operating advisor to CD&R funds and former chairman and chief executive officer of Graphic Packaging, will assume the role of chairman of American Greetings. John Compton, a CD&R operating partner and former president of Pepsico, will be actively involved with the business and serve on the company’s board, according to the release

Zev Weiss provided a statement in the release: “We believe the deep operating expertise that Clayton, Dubilier & Rice brings to us makes them an ideal strategic partner.”

Calls to CD&R asking for comment on how Danville’s plant might be affected by the purchase had not been returned as of Friday evening.