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RETAILING : Maxwell Will Sell Gump's to GMP for $36.5 Million

June 06, 1989|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Maxwell Communication said Monday that it has agreed to sell Gump's, a Macmillan Inc. subsidiary that sells luxury items through four speciality stores and a mail order division, for $36.5 million in cash.

Robert Maxwell, head of Maxwell Communication, said in a statement that the sale of Gump's completes the company's asset sales as far as Macmillan is concerned.

Gump's, which specializes in fine art, jewelry, antiques and other high-quality merchandise, will be sold to GMP Acquisition Corp., a new company formed by the New York-based investment firm Charterhouse Group International and Tobu Department Store Co., a Tokyo-based retailer.

The sale is part of a strategy of focusing on publishing that the British-based Maxwell has pursued since its $2.5-billion acquisition of Macmillan and its $750-million buyout of Official Airlines Guides last year.

Since those acquisitions, Maxwell estimated that it has sold about $2 billion in assets.

The sale of Gump's is expected to be completed by June 30, subject to regulatory approval. Maxwell had said last December it planned to sell Gump's.

Gump's was founded in 1861 and has stores in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Houston and Dallas.

Among the assets sold by Maxwell during the past six months were the Macmillan Book Clubs, the magazine publisher Gryphon Editions, the Katherine Gibbs secretarial schools, Macmillan's technical schools division, Maxwell's BPCC printing business and the Michie Co., a legal publishing concern.

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