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American Greetings moves to loss in 2nd quarter

CLEVELAND (AP) — American Greetings, which received a buyout offer worth about $581 million two days ago, says it moved to a loss in its fiscal second quarter due to costs associated with its June acquisition of Britain's Clinton Cards PLC.

For the three months ended Aug. 24, the greeting card company lost $4.3 million, or 13 cents per share. That compares with a profit of $14.5 million, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding about 37 cents per share for costs related to acquiring and integrating Clinton Cards, which it bought out of bankruptcy, earnings were 24 cents per share. American Greetings acquired about 400 Clinton Cards stores and its brand. The struggling U.K. greeting card company had been one of its biggest customers.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $393.8 million from $370.2 million, receiving a boost of about $26 million from the Clinton Cards acquisition.

The Cleveland card company, which was founded more than 100 years ago and went public in the 1950s, may be headed back to private ownership. A group led by its CEO Zev Weiss and his brother, chief operating officer Jeffrey Weiss, wants to buy the Cleveland company and take it private.

American Greetings Corp. said it expects its board to form a special committee of independent directors to consider the proposal of $17.18 per share.

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