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Firm Steps Up Bid for Control of Fabricland

House of Fabrics Inc., stepping up its bid for control of Fabricland Inc., said it began seeking the consent of Fabricland’s stockholders to call a special meeting so they can vote on House of Fabric’s proposal to oust the majority of Fabricland’s directors.

House of Fabrics, based in Sherman Oaks, also wants Fabricland’s shareholders to vote on its proposal to have Fabricland’s board redeem the company’s “poison pill” stock-purchase rights, which have proved a hurdle to House of Fabric’s takeover bid.

House of Fabrics, the nation’s largest chain of fabric and sewing retail outlets, launched a $13.50-a-share, or $44-million, tender offer for Fabricland on Jan. 10. But the poison pill threatens to make the takeover prohibitively expensive for House of Fabrics if it attempts to complete the offer.

Fabricland, headquartered in Portland, Ore., operates a 77-store chain featuring fabrics, sewing notions and crafts. The company has rejected House of Fabrics’ tender offer as inadequate.

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