September 26, 2012 / 2:26 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-American Greetings receives $580 mln offer from CEO

Sept 26 (Reuters) - American Greetings Corp said it received a go-private offer from a group led by its chief executive, valuing the company at about $580 million.

The offer of $17.18 per share represents a premium of nearly 20 percent to the stock’s Tuesday close of $14.34.

The company’s shares, which have lost about a third of their value since last September, were up 18 percent at $16.90 on Wednesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

CEO Zev Weiss, along with other members of the founding Weiss family and related parties, made the offer on Sept. 25.

The group in a letter to the board said it expects to finance the deal with debt but has yet to secure binding commitments.

American Greetings’s latest quarterly results had been hurt by the bankruptcy of its British distributor Clinton Cards Plc.

The company, whose brands include American Greetings, Carlton Cards and Gibson, said it will form a special committee of independent directors to consider the proposal.

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