Pangea to Buy Spiegel Catalog for $31 Million

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Another piece of The Spiegel Group appears to be on its way to Pangea Holdings Ltd. The private investment group reached an agreement with Spiegel to acquire the Spiegel Catalog business for just over $31 million, the companies announced yesterday.

The amount includes $2 million in cash and $29.4 million in assumed liabilities. Pangea also will assume $22 million worth of inventory commitments.

The news came just weeks after a $28.6 million bid by Pangea was accepted for Spiegel's Newport News women's apparel business. That announcement came May 11 with the transaction expected to close next week.

"They have three partners, one of whom was a previous executive in Spiegel Catalog, Christian Feuer, and the two other partners are outside the U.S.," Spiegel spokeswoman Debbie Koopman said. "There were discussions being done simultaneously [with the Newport News deal], but it was done as two separate transactions."

Regarding the Spiegel Catalog, the deal includes the assumption of certain liabilities. Koopman didn't provide specifics when asked about the total liabilities involved or the value of the operation's inventory.

Pangea will assume all inventory commitments as of the purchase date.

The agreement was expected to be filed yesterday with the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. An order also was expected to be signed approving the bidding procedures and establish a hearing for June 15 to hold an auction, if necessary. The transaction is subject to all higher offers.

Koopman said June 11 is the deadline for any party wanting to submit a competing bid.

Miller Buckfire Lewis Ying & Co. advised the bankrupt company on the sale of Spiegel Catalog. Spiegel retained the firm last month to solicit parties interested in acquiring Eddie Bauer.

"We're going through the process [regarding Eddie Bauer] of speaking with interested parties," Koopman said. "There's nothing imminent I expect to announce. We are working through that process."

A message left with Stuart Erickson of Miller Buckfire Lewis Ying & Co. was not returned.

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