Fingerhut president Sherman reportedly near deal for Federated’s apparel catalogs

(Direct Newsline) Michael Sherman is in talks with Federated Department Stores to buy most of the remaining Fingerhut Cos. properties, according to sources close to the deal. The investment for the acquisition is coming from J.P. Morgan Chase, sources said. Sherman will own equity in the company, but how much is unclear.

Sherman, who has retained the title of president of Fingerhut after this summer’s sale of the core general merchandise catalog, plans to head up a parent company that will operate food book Figis and the catalogs from the Apparel Group: Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair Lifestyles, Willow Ridge, Brownstone Studio, Lew Magram, and Coward Shoes.

Terms of the deal were not available. When contacted for this story, Sherman would not comment.

The new entity will be known as Crosstown Traders. Old Pueblo Traders and Coward are part of the Arizona Mail Order Co. in Tucson, AZ. The other catalogs are based in Greenwich, CT.

The only Fingerhut property not included in this deal is Popular Club.

He will head up a management team that will include former Fingerhut executives Steve Lightman and Kin Leung.

Sherman came to work at Fingerhut in 1996 as general counsel and head of business development. Figis was already part of Fingerhut Cos., and he oversaw the acquisition of the catalogs he is now trying to acquire on his own. When Sherman became president of Fingerhut in 2000, he promoted Lightman from president of Arizona Mail Order to executive vice president of Fingerhut Cos.

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