Update: Guthy-Renker Denies Talks With Thane

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MADEIRA, Portugal -- Guthy-Renker Corp., a DRTV firm with $300 million in sales last year, denied a report on yesterday's DM News Web site that it was in talks with Thane International Corp., a $100-million DRTV company based in La Quinta, CA, about acquiring Guthy-Renker. Thane has a multi-million dollar capital base, having recently received a significant investment from H.I.G., a private investment firm in Miami.

Thane is seeking acquisitions to grow its possible market capitalization to the $500 million range. Once at that range the company would commence an initial public offering of stock.

In issuing the denial, Guthy-Renker said it bought out minority shareholder News Corp., which had acquired part of the company in its acquisition of New World Communications Inc., more than two years ago. Guthy-Renker and News Corp. had negotiated an increased investment from News Corp. last year, but the two companies failed to reach an agreement.

A source close to Guthy-Renker, speaking on the condition of anonymity at the Electronic Retailing Association's annual European conference here, said the company sold off its non-core assets to focus on its profitable continuity businesses, including the infomercial-driven ProActiv Solution and Principal Secret personal care products.

Thane has boasted top-selling DRTV products, including California Beauty, personal care products, Orbitrek, an elliptical exercise device, and BioSlim dietary supplements.

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