Group Makes Offer for Blair

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A group that includes investment banking firm Loeb Partners Corp. offered to buy Blair Corp., the cataloger reported after the market closed Tuesday.


The offer is for $36 per share, or about $297 million. New York-based Loeb holds a 6.7 percent stake in Blair, Warren, PA.


Blair markets men's and women's apparel and home products through its Blair and Irvine Park catalogs and Web sites. A decade ago, Blair marketed almost entirely via multisheet direct mail packages, newspaper inserts and freestanding inserts.


The company's credit business traditionally was a significant source of revenue. Last month, Blair said it would sell its credit card business to Alliance Data Systems for $176.3 million.


Blair's sales have slumped recently, with net sales last year totaling $496.1 million compared with $581.9 million the previous year. For first-quarter 2005, net sales fell to $107.6 million from $128.6 million in the same period last year.


Last year, Blair said it would discontinue its 4-year-old Crossing Pointe women's apparel catalog.


Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM News.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters
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