Blair receives takeover bid from Golden Gate

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Blair Corp. has received a bid from minority shareholder Appleseed's Topco Inc., a subsidiary of Golden Gate Capital, to purchase the company for $37.50 per share.

The bid came in a letter to the board dated Jan. 3, Blair said.

"Since receiving the letter, we have been in discussions with this group," Craig Johnson, chairman of Blair's board of directors, said in a statement.

In addition, the Warren, PA-based multichannel retailer reported that on Jan. 18 a group of shareholders led by private investment firm Golden Gate Capital and its wholly owned subsidiary, Appleseed's Topco Inc., filed a Schedule 13D with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicating the group collectively owns 8.1 percent of Blair's common stock.

In November, Golden Gate was one of two investment firms involved in the acquisition of Eddie Bauer Holdings for $614 million. Golden Gate has also recently acquired Venus Swimwear, WinterSilks, Carabella and Haband.

Blair is currently in a period of transition. Last month, the company announced that president/CEO John Zawacki will retire in April. Mr. Zawacki has served as president/CEO since December 1999 and has spent 34 years with the company.

In October, Blair said net sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 decreased 8.6 percent for a total of $89.5 million. The company also reported a net loss of $1.1 million, or 30 cents per basic and diluted share, during the same period compared to net income of $1.4 million, or 23 cents per basic and diluted share reported for the third quarter of 2005.

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