Deikel makes back-up bid for Fingerhut

The likelihood of Federated Department Stores selling its Fingerhut Cos. subsidiary has increased significantly now that there’s another offer on the table. After Cincinnati-based Federated announced on Feb. 21 that it signed a nonbinding letter of intent with Wayzata, MN-based Business Development Group Acquisitions (BDGA) to acquire Fingerhut, former Fingerhut CEO Ted Deikel and Eden Prairie, MN-based wholesaler Tom Petters revealed that they made a separate offer to Federated the same day.

Under the nonbinding letter of intent, Federated is free to entertain other offers for Minnetonka, MN-based Fingerhut; BDGA must notify Federated in early March of its intent and ability to proceed with the acquisition. The offer from Deikel and Petters will be good until March 8.

In more good news for Fingerhut employees, BDGA leader Peter Lytle said on Feb. 22 that he’ll try to preserve as many jobs as possible if he emerges as the new owner of the 54-year-old low-end general merchandise catalog. While Lytle said some restructuring may be necessary, if employees must be laid off he aims to make the layoffs temporary. Federated had announced last month that it would shut down Fingerhut and lay off its 6,000 employees in Minnesota and Tennessee if it couldn’t find a buyer.

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