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Fortunoff: We're not for sale

WESTBURY, N.Y. — Fortunoff this morning debunked reports that it was shopping for a buyer, saying that is instead seeking financing.

"The story here is expansion, not selling," said Arlene Putterman, Fortunoff's vice president of public relations. "We are looking for a financial partner to help us grow. We're not a public company; we don't have funds at our fingertips."

The 82-year-old company has retained the services of retail bank Peter J. Solomon Co. for the project. However, Putterman said, Fortunoff will not sell any stake in the business, which is expected to generate approximately $500 million in sales this year.

The company would like to open more big box stores as well as satellite units, which average 12,000 to 18,000 square feet and carry seasonal merchandise. The company recently opened three new satellite stores: Eatontown, N.J.; Lawrenceville, N.J.; and Norwalk, Conn.

"In the next five years I think you may see us add a couple more stores, but we're not going to double the number we have now," she said.

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