LILLIAN VERNON REVIEW COULD END IN SELL-OFF

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Lillian Vernon Corp. is looking at possible business combinations that could include a buyout of the New Rochelle, N.Y., cataloger.

Company sales for the fiscal year ended Feb. 25 will be up as much as 15% to $225 million.

There are about 15 million names on Lillian Vernon's mailing lists, said VP-Chief Financial Officer Andrew Gregor. He wouldn't give specifics on reasons for the review of strategic alternatives.

But Maxwell Sroge, president of an Evanston, Ill., catalog consultancy, that bears his name, said the move to explore a possible sell-off is most likely a family decision. "The family has the majority of its money tied up in the business ..... they want to secure what they've gained and maybe diversify somewhat," he said.

Ms. Vernon, 66, and her two sons, David and Fred Hochberg, own 45% of the company.

Mr. Sroge said the company would likely command a buyout price of about $225 million.

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