August 9, 2013, 12:55 PM

American Greetings goes private after shareholders agree to the founding family’s buyout offer

The Weiss family will pay $878 million to take control of the greeting card maker.

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American Greetings Corp. has officially gone private, as an acquisition deal by the Weiss family closed today.

American Greetings’ shareholders held a special meeting this week and approved the  $878 million buyout agreement. The Weiss family, which dominates top management of the company, paid $19 per outstanding share including all debt obligations.

The Weiss family consists of the company’s chairman, Morry Weiss, as well as his sons, Zev, the chief executive, and Jeffrey, the president and chief operating officer. 

"Our family has guided the Company for more than 100 years and we are excited to see American Greetings return to its roots as a family-owned business,” says Jeffrey Weiss.

In April, the e-retailer announced it had reached a deal that called for the Weiss family to pay nonfamily shareholders $18.20 a share in cash plus a 15-cent-per-share dividend if the deal closed by its July target date. The family beefed up its offer to $19 per share last month in the face of opposition from some shareholders.

American Greetings is No. 233 in the new Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. The merchant, which sells digital greeting cards and related products online, brought in $78.4 million in web sales in 2012, a 2.4% drop compared with $80.3 million in 2011.

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