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What sale means for American Greetings future

6:52 PM, Apr 1, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND  --  American Greetings has agreed to be taken private for about $602  million by a group led by some of its top executives.

The greeting card and gift seller said Monday that a group formed by the Weiss family, including Chairman Morry Weiss and CEO Zev Weiss and others, will buy the shares of the company they don't already own for $18.20 a piece in cash.

This is a 13 percent premium to American Greetings Corp.'s closing price of $16.10 last Thursday.

The Weiss family initially offered to buy the Cleveland company in September for $17.18 per share. The company values the entire deal at $878 million including assumed debt and a dividend.

American Greetings has been struggling in an age where e-greetings are taking over. The Brooklyn company reported a loss of $809 thousand dollars in the third quarter of last year, compared with a year-earlier profit of $20.2 million.

But switching from a publicly traded company to privately owned doesn't exactly mean a dark cloud is hanging over them.

"The benefits in general are you're not under the watchful scrutinous eye of the public shareholders from quarter to quarter, week to week, day to day," says Case Western Reserve University Professor, Scott Fine.

In addition to its namesake brand, American Greetings also owns Carlton Cards, Recycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus.

The Associated Press

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