Related topics

Federated Confirms Offer for Fingerhut

February 8, 2002

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Federated Department Stores Inc. confirmed Friday that one formal offer has been submitted for its Fingerhut catalog business and another potential buyer has dropped out.

Federated spokeswoman Carol Sanger would not say who had made the offer or divulge any financial terms, but said the company was reviewing the offer.

When Federated announced on Jan. 16 that it would close Fingerhut if it couldn’t find a buyer, company officials estimated its assets could be sold for $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.

Peter Lytle, a businessman with a history of turning around companies with financial problems, earlier said he was among potential buyers looking at Fingerhut’s books. Lytle said Friday that he was prohibited by a confidentiality agreement from disclosing whether he had made an offer for Fingerhut.

Tom Petters, a veteran retailer and chairman of Redtagbiz Inc. in Eden Prairie, also had signed a confidentiality agreement and was looking at Fingerhut’s financials.

Sanger has said about a dozen potential buyers have expressed interest in Fingerhut, but she has not said whether they were acting alone or as part of investor groups.

Federated also confirmed Friday that an investment group led by Paul Ellarby of Minneapolis had dropped out as a potential buyer after reviewing the internal financial data.

As Federated began reviewing the offer received Friday, union workers began planning a bus trip to Federated’s Cincinnati headquarters to put more pressure on the company to sell Fingerhut intact. About 50 union workers planned to demonstrate outside the headquarters building Monday afternoon.

Fingerhut employs 4,700 people in Minnesota, including nearly 2,700 in St. Cloud, plus 1,300 in Tennessee.

Update hourly