Marketing Firm Makes Bid for Fashionmall

Hours after thumbing its nose at a buyout offer from a Beverly Hills-based M&A firm, Alley apparel network Fashionmall Inc. appears in serious play with a $52.5 million offer emerging from GenesisIntermedia.com, Inc.

Genesis, a marketing firm headquartered in Los Angeles, announced Friday afternoon it had acquired a 7 percent stake in Fashionmall and was bidding to pay $7.00 per share for all of Fashionmall’s outstanding stock.

At press time, Fashionmall CEO Ben Narasin was traveling to the West Coast and could not be reached for comment.

“GENI has sent an offer, in the form of a letter sent to the management and Board of Directors of Fashionmall.com, providing for the acquisition of all of FASH’s remaining shares outstanding in a transaction valued at $7 per FASH share, or at a premium of 170% over $2.59375 per share, yesterday’s closing price of FASH’s common stock,” Genesis said in a statement.

“The GENI offer also exceeds by 100% an unsolicited offer disclosed yesterday to Fashionmall.com’s management of $3.50 per share,” the company added, alluding to a press release issued Thursday by Narax Inc.

Under its proposal, Genesis said its bid would swap $2.00 in cash and .29 shares of GENI common stock for each Fashionmall share.

Genesis was it would combine Fashionmall.com with its Centerlinq unit to create interactive shopping and advertising venues in the U.S. “We have an opportunity to significantly strengthen the value of both businesses. We will accomplish this through bringing together the talent, as well as the sales, marketing and software development resources of both Fashionmall and Centerlinq,” Genesis CEO Ramy El-Batrawi said in a statement.

Centerlinq is described as a Web-based network that is accessible through public access touch-screen Internet kiosks in shopping malls.

For the second consecutive day, trading in Fashionmall stock was halted on the Nasdaq exchange. The stock jumped a whopping 30 percent to $3.37, up from the $2.59 opening.

Genesis, which has a market cap of $111 million, was trading at 17.12, down a quarter from the opening bell.

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