Fingerhut parent company Bluestem registers for IPO

  • Article by: star Tribune
  • Updated: April 21, 2011 - 9:38 PM

Retailer, which owns the Fingerhut brand, hopes to raise $150 million

The Fingerhut name may be returning to the ranks of public companies.

Bluestem Brands Inc., the Eden Prairie company that owns the Fingerhut brand, filed an initial registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday for an initial public offering that could raise $150 million. The company is a retailer of a broad selection of products sold through the Fingerhut and Gettington.com brands.

The company relies on credit to sell products to low- and middle-income consumers.

Bluestem Brands, formerly known as Fingerhut Direct Marketing, was formed in 2002 to acquire the assets of Fingerhut Cos. Inc.

Convicted Ponzi schemer Tom Petters was a Bluestem director and provided debt financing for the company. Bluestem said in its filing that "none of the fraudulent activity of which Mr. Petters was convicted was at any time alleged directly to involve our company.''

In fiscal year 2010, Bluestem had net sales of $521 million vs. $438 million in fiscal 2009. The company had a net loss of $11.5 million for the year ended Jan. 28.

A successful offering from Bluestem would be the second IPO from a Minnesota company this year after Kips Bay Medical raised $16.5 million on Feb. 11.

Underwriters of the offering include Deutsche Bank Securities and Piper Jaffray. The company's proposed ticker symbol is BSTM. The number of shares to be offered and the offering price range have not been set.

PATRICK KENNEDY

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