Investment Company Buys Major Stake in Mail Boxes

An investment firm has acquired a majority stake in Mail Boxes Coast to Coast Inc., and plans to propose a restructuring or recapitalization that might include a sale of the Glendale-based company's assets.

GRA Investments Inc., in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said it acquired a total of eight million shares of Mail Boxes' common stock issued by Mail Boxes, or 53.3% of the total outstanding, in exchange for GRA's 350,000 shares of North American Environmental Group Inc. common stock.

Mail Boxes Coast to Coast is a franchiser of Mail Boxes Etc. postal-service outlets.

Based in Woburn, Mass., GRA is owned by Gerald R. Appel, president of Corrugated Box Co. Inc. GRA said it plans to propose several options to Mail Boxes, including the sale of most or all of the company's assets. According to the filing, Mail Boxes is already negotiating the possible sale of its Los Angeles-area franchise.

In addition, Mail Boxes reported a $234,466 profit for 1991, thanks to the sale of its New York City-area franchise last June.

The company said the profit in the year that ended Dec. 31 compared with a loss of $101,660 the previous year.

Mail Boxes Coast to Coast's revenue fell to $477,622 from $771,126 in 1990 because of the franchise's sale, but the sale also gave the company a $608,910 gain last year, leading to the profit. Excluding the gain, the company lost $396,010 from its continuing operations in 1991.

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