– BID FOR KIDS: Children’s Place former chief executive officer said on Thursday he is considering purchasing the specialty retailer for about $578 million. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Ezra Dabah sent a letter saying he, along with Golden Gate Private Equity Inc., would offer $24 a share in cash for Children’s Place, a 35 percent premium over Wednesday’s close. The announcement sent shares up more than 18 percent. Golden Gate was the company that bought Express from Limited Brands Inc. last year.
-STIMULUS DEAL GETS SENATE NOD: The Senate passed an almost $168 billion, two-year economic stimulus package by an 81-16 vote on Thursday, moving a step closer to getting tax rebate checks to consumers by early summer. Senate Democrats were forced to reach a compromise with Republicans after the GOP blocked a broader bill proposed as an alternative to the package brokered between House leaders and President Bush. The approved Senate bill added rebates for 20 million senior citizens and 250,000 disabled veterans. It must now be approved by the House. The legislation would provide tax rebates this year, including $600 for individuals, $1,200 for couples and an additional $300 per child for families with children. The plan caps eligibility for the rebates at an income of $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples.