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Fingerhut's Future TBD Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, confirmed reports last month that it is exploring several options for its Fingerhut subsidiary. These include scaling back Fingerhut's operations, selling the firm outright or selling some assets while keeping the database management and distribution units. The latter assets have "from day one been the value for us," said Carol Sanger, a spokeswoman for Federated. "We did not buy it for the catalog." But Sanger added that the reports were "nothing new" and that it will be several months before Federated reaches a decision. "The impact on long-term cash flow will be a prime consideration," she said. "We are focused on fixing the credit delinquency problem." In July, Fingerhut reported it would take a charge of between $150 million and $250 million to combat increased debt resulting from looser credit terms for its customers and prospect base. The company has since tightened its credit guidelines and implemented a number of financial controls.


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