Lytle's Group Makes Offer to Buy Fingerhut

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The suspense is over. Federated Department Stores said today that it has signed a letter of intent to sell its Fingerhut subsidiary to Business Development Group Acquisitions, a firm specializing in turnarounds.


The purchase hinges on BDGA's ability to get financing. BDGA is led by managing partner Peter Lytle. Under terms of the letter, the company must notify Federated in early March of its intent and ability to proceed.


Financial terms were not disclosed.


"We are pleased that we have been able to enter into this letter of intent with BDGA and, although there are no guarantees of a successful outcome, we are hopeful that we will be able to conclude a transaction with BDGA," Ronald W. Tysoe, Federated's vice chairman, said in a statement. "The sale of Fingerhut … remains our top priority -- and if a sale is feasible, Federated is prepared to move as quickly as possible to get this done."


Tysoe said there are no active discussions with any other parties.


Fingerhut has 6,000 employees: 4,700 in Minnesota and 1,300 in telemarketing and distribution centers in eastern Tennessee.


On. Jan. 16, Federated said it would close Fingerhut unless a buyer came forward. BDGA was one of four who expressed interest in buying the Minnetonka-MN-based cataloger.


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