Cleveland-based American Greetings, which is building its world headquarters in Westlake, will return to its founding family in a $878 million deal.
The company, which trades publicly under the symbol “AM,” will be purchased by the Weiss family, including the company's Chairman, Morry Weiss; sons Zev Weiss (director and chief executive officer) and Jeffrey Weiss (director, president and chief operating officer), according to a press release issued by the company. The deal still requires board approval.
If approved non-family shareholders will receive $18.20 a share. The stock opened at $16.10 Monday morning.
The Weiss Family initially proposed to acquire the Company on Sept. 25, 2012, not long after the company announced a move to Westlake. Construction on the site began moving forward last week after a delay last November.
The American Greetings Board of Directors formed a Special Committee of independent directors after the Weiss Family first expressed its interest last September.
After reviewing the proposal and considering other factors including alternatives and price, the Committee concluded unanimously that the transaction with the Weiss Family was fair and in the best interests of the Company's public shareholders.
"The family believes the transaction is a win for all concerned, including public shareholders,” Weiss said. “The negotiations with the Special Committee and its advisors were vigorous and arm's length, but we're pleased that we were able to come to an agreement that properly respects all parties' interests," Zev Weiss said in a press release.
American Greetings, which bills itself as a “social expression company,” primarily through greeting cards, generates annual revenue of approximately $1.7 billion,
"We are excited to be able to lead the Company into the next chapter of its history” Jeffrey Weiss said. “The transaction returns the company to private ownership in a way that we believe enables the Company to continue to serve the interests of its customers, employees, suppliers and the communities in which it operates as it has for over a century."