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Wright Holdings Raises Elder-Beerman Bid

September 12, 2003

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) _ Wright Holdings Inc. increased its bid for Elder-Beerman Stores Corp. on Friday to $90.5 million, pulling ahead of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. for a second time in the tug-of-war for the retailer.

Wright Holdings, a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, offered $7.80 a share for Elder-Beerman. That eclipses the $84.1 million, or $7.25 a share offered Thursday by York, Pa.-based Bon-Ton.

Previously, Wright Holdings had offered $7.05 a share after Bon-Ton had bid $7.

Shares in Elder-Beerman closed at $7.20 Friday, up 1 cent, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Elder-Beerman and Bon-Ton entered merger talks in late July, about a month after the Elder-Beerman board agreed to sell the company to Wright Holdings.

Goldner Hawn’s managing director, Michael Sweeney, has said his company remains committed to acquiring Elder-Beerman and keeping its current management and operations intact.

Any merger must pass government scrutiny and be approved by shareholders controlling two-thirds of Elder-Beerman’s 11.6 million common shares.

Elder-Beerman employs about 6,100 workers and operates 68 stores in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The company had sales last year of $671 million.

Bon-Ton sells clothing, accessories and home furnishings in 72 department stores in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia. It employs about 8,700 workers.


On the Net:

Elder-Beerman: http://www.elder-beerman.com

Bon-Ton: http://www.bonton.com/

Goldner Hawn: http://www.ghjm.com/

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