American Greetings gets offer to go private

Associated Press Modified: September 26, 2012 at 10:45 am •  Published: September 26, 2012

CLEVELAND (AP) — American Greetings Corp. said Wednesday that a group led by its CEO and chief operating officer wants to buy the company and take it private in a deal that values it at about $581 million.

The Cleveland-based greeting card company's shares jumped 15 percent on the news.

American Greetings, whose brands also include Carlton Cards, Recycled Paper Greetings and Papyrus, said its board received the proposal from Chief Executive Zev Weiss and his brother, President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Weiss, on Tuesday.

The group, which also includes other investors and members of the executives' families, wants to acquire all of the company's common stock that it doesn't currently own for $17.18 per share. That is a 20 percent premium over American Greetings' Tuesday closing stock price.

Based on the company's about 33.8 million outstanding shares, the offer values American Greetings at $580.7 million.

American Greetings said it expects its board to form a special committee of independent directors to consider the proposal. The company said it doesn't expect to make any further comments about the offer until a deal is struck or it rejects the bid.

American Greetings was founded over 100 years ago and went public in the 1950s. Members of the Weiss family currently make up a large part of its senior management. In addition to the brothers, their father, Mory Weiss, serves as the company's chairman, and Erwin Weiss, their uncle, is its senior vice president for specialty business.

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