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CHICAGO-Whitehall Jewellers Inc. is reviewing an offer made by one of its stockholders, Newcastle Partners, LP, for all of the outstanding shares of the company’s common stock for $1.20 net per share. The offer, which was made last week by JWL Acquisition Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Newcastle, would include conditions such as replacement financing for the bridge term loan and refinancing of the company’s senior credit facility.

Currently, Newcastle owns an aggregate of approximately two-million shares or nearly 14.5% of common stock of Whitehall Jewellers Inc. This is the second offer Newcastle has made. In November, the company extended an offer to acquire the company for $15.4 million or $1.10 per share. However, Whitehall, under the leadership of Prentice Capital Management LP and Holtzman Opportunity Fund LP, refused the offer.

In October, Whitehall announced the much-needed financial support of Prentice and Holtzman. In exchange for $80 million in total bridge financing from the investment funds, Whitehall gave up 87% of its equity and a majority of board seats.

The company’s board of directors—now one member short with the resignation of Steven Pully on Nov. 29—will recommend acceptance or rejection of the tender offer on or before Dec. 16.

Whitehall Jewellers is a national specialty retailer of fine jewelry, operating 389 stores in 38 states, but the company intends to close 77 stores in the near term. The retailer operates stores in regional and super regional shopping malls under the names Whitehall Co. Jewellers, Lundstrom Jewelers and Marks Bros. Jewelers.

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