NEW YORK — It’s not a done deal yet and there’s time for higher bids, but Elder-Beerman Stores Corp. said it intends to accept the $7 a share merger offer from The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which on Thursday made a definitive takeover proposal.

The merger would combine two regional department store chains with similar vendor structures and target customers and no stores in the same malls. The deal is contingent on at least two-thirds of Elder-Beerman’s outstanding common shares, on a fully diluted basis, being tendered, Bon-Ton’s securing financing, government approval — and no richer offers coming in.

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