Trans World Entertainment Corp. chairman and CEO Robert J. Higgins has offered to buy out existing shareholders to convert the struggling retailer to a private company, according to The Business Review. Higgins has made a non-binding offer to buy out existing shareholders at $5 per share cash.
Trans World owns more than 950 retail stores, most under the name F.Y.E. (For Your Entertainment) and others under the Suncoast name. As of 2006 more than 600 people worked at the company's headquarters and distribution center at 38 Corporate Circle.
The news comes as Trans World, which had sales of $1.47 billion last year, prepares to enter the holiday shopping season. The company has seen its sales suffer as it tries to compete with big-box retailers such as Wal-mart and Best Buy who sell music and videos at cheaper prices, and with computer downloads of music, both legal and illegal.
According to the company, Higgins has contacted another shareholder, Bryant Riley, to gauge his interest in participating directly or indirectly in the buyout.