Loeb Partners Corp., a New York-based company with multiple investment funds, has offered to buy Warren, PA-based Blair Corp. for $36 a share, or approximately $297 million based upon 8.2 million shares outstanding. Loeb Partners currently owns 6.7% of the apparel and home decor cataloger’s outstanding common stock.
In a May 10 letter to Blair chairman of the board Craig Johnson and president/CEO John Zawacki, Loeb Partners president Gideon King wrote: “We are pleased to see that the management and Board of Directors of Blair Corporation have elected to monetize the company’s consumer credit portfolio. However, we are disappointed by the way in which the stock market continues to value the company, even in light of the apparent likelihood of approximately $140,000,000.00 in proceeds from such sale being distributed to shareholders.” Loeb Partners is asking the board of directors to respond to its offer by May 18.
In a statement released May 11, Zawacki responded, “We are currently reviewing the [offer]. It is premature to comment on the filing at this time. However, I want to emphasize that we will continue to act in the best interest of the company and all of its stakeholders.”
Blair, which has annual sales of approximately $500 million, employs more than 2,000 people and operates facilities and retail outlets in Northwestern Pennsylvania as well as a catalog outlet in Wilmington, Delaware. Besides the eponymous brand, it also mails the Irvine Park catalog.