Fingerhut deal near?

A deal to save the Fingerhut catalog business may be finalized by the end of the week.

Potential buyer Peter Lytle of Wayzata, MN-based Business Development Group (BDG) told the St. Paul “Pioneer Press” this week that financing is in place and that a deal could be reached by the week’s end. BDG signed a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Fingerhut and its subsidiaries, which include Figi’s and Arizona Mail Order, last month, pending due diligence and the finalization of financing. In January, parent company Federated Department Stores announced its intention to sell or close Fingerhut.

BDG did not return repeated calls by CATALOG AGE. Fingerhut spokesperson Ben Saukko would not comment.

If a deal does come to pass, the “new” Fingerhut most likely will emerge as a leaner version of itself. As Lytle told the “Pioneer Press,” “there would be a termination of a substantial number of employees.” Fingerhut currently employs about 6,000 workers, including 4,700 in Minnesota. Lytle added that he would aim to eventually rehire the laid-off workers as he rebuilt the catalog firm.

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