Report: Concepts Direct Chairman Tries to Take Company Private

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Phillip Wiland, Concepts Direct Inc.'s chairman, president and chief executive, along with his wife, Linda, paid $669,765 for 1.24 million shares last week as part of an effort to transform the operation into a private business, according to a report in The Daily Camera, a newspaper in Boulder County, CO.


The transaction increases the couple's ownership level to 64 percent from 40 percent, according to the report, which also said that they may purchase additional shares in the cataloger and may extend another offer to buy Longmont, CO-based Concepts Direct. The Wilands submitted a failed bid earlier this year.


The report said that sales at the 250-employee operation "have been off," and Wiland said he foresees a greater chance of implementing ongoing turnaround efforts by obtaining enough ownership in the company to turn it private.


Concepts Direct's catalog titles include Snoopy, Garfield Stuff and Colorful Images.


The company, which eliminated 111 employees last summer and implemented pay reductions between 2 percent and 50 percent for 44 employees, has been experiencing quarterly losses and also reduced circulation.


Last year Concept Direct posted a loss of $6.9 million on sales of $51.7 million. In the prior year, it reported a loss of $3.1 million on $55.8 million in revenue.


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