FASHIONMALL, DELIA’S MAY BE EYEING DEAL

Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — Are they or aren’t they?
Asked about rumors Fashionmall.com has been huddling with teen retailer Delia’s Inc. over a possible deal for some of Delia’s Internet assets, Ben Narasin, chief executive officer of Web portal Fashionmall, said: “We are always looking for opportunities, synergistic situations. We see certain synergies with Delia’s and they have made it clear they intend to focus on [commerce].”
“I can’t comment further on this particular situation,” Narasin continued. “Delia’s has been a Fashionmall client in the past, and we did the deal to operate iTurf’s shopping destination,” he added, in referring to the agreement struck by Fashionmall in October to manage that part of Delia’s business.
For his part, however, Stephen Kahn, chief executive officer of Delia’s, strongly refuted rumors regarding Fashionmall. “I never have had talks with the Fashionmall people about a deal,” Kahn said. “We feel our stock is undervalued and that’s why we adopted a shareholder rights plan,” he added in response to a question on the timing of the poison pill adopted by the firm and announced last Friday. Delia’s stock added 44 cents to close at $3.00 in heavy Nasdaq trading Wednesday as 651,500 shares changed hands versus average daily volume of 275,136.
Delia’s has two primary businesses and previously announced it is exploring strategic alternatives for its Internet community business. That unit comprises content sites including gurl.com, TheSpark.com, SparkNotes.com and SparkMatch.com.

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