Fingerhut Investor Raided by Feds

Federal agents raided the headquarters of Petters Group Worldwide, a minority stockholder of general merchant Fingerhut Direct Marketing, early on Sept. 24.

A company statement said that the investigation pertains to a financial entity that company founder Tom Petters is involved with, and that it does not involve all holdings of Petters Group. In addition to Fingerhut, the Minnetonka, MN-based company’s other entities include Sun Country Airlines and Polaroid. As a result of the fraud allegations, Petters resigned from the company on Sept. 29.

For its part, Fingerhut last week released a statement saying its business operations were continuing as usual: “Fingerhut’s financial strength is excellent, having recently completed a new round of equity financing of more than $50 million of additional capital from controlling investors Bain Capital and Battery Ventures.”

The statement pointed out that Petters Group, a passive minority stockholder, has no involvement in the day-to-day management of Fingerhut, which has been around for more than 50 years.

But Petters is widely associated with the firm, since he and Ted Deikel, a former Fingerhut owner, bought the assets of the Fingerhut catalog in 2002 from Federated Department Stores (now known as Macy’s). Now based in Eden Prairie, MN, Fingerhut Direct Marketing also operates a distribution center in St. Cloud, MN.

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