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VALLEY ROUNDUP

Investor Increases Stake in House of Fabrics to 8.3%

November 17, 1987

New Jersey investor Myron M. Kaplan, a former director of House of Fabrics, has increased his stake to about 8.3% in the Sherman Oaks chain of fabric stores.

U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that Kaplan holds 543,525 shares of stock, either in his own name or through Whitehall Associates, a company in which he controls a 40% stake. In the filings, Kaplan said he acquired House of Fabrics' stock for investment purposes.

Gary L. Larkins, House of Fabrics' president and chief executive, said Kaplan left the board of directors less than two years ago. Larkins said that, although he has not spoken to Kaplan since the stock was purchased, he "has no reason to believe it's for anything other than investment purposes."

In 1985, Kaplan owned about the same stake in the company but later reduced it. Earlier this year, Larkins said, Kaplan owned 176,125 shares plus 4,000 shares through Whitehall. He has since bought 188,000 shares in his own name and 175,400 shares through Whitehall, Larkins said.

Larkins said the Sofro family, which founded House of Fabrics, owns about 10.5% of the company's stock.

House of Fabrics' earnings in the six months ended July 31 rose 69%, to $2.2 million, with sales climbing 2%, to $143.2 million. The company's improved results were attributed in part to the success of its more profitable large stores.

Kaplan could not be reached for comment.

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