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Trilogy Extends Takeover Expiry Time

[CANADA] Trilogy Retail Enterprises has extended the expiry time for its December 11, 2000 offer to acquire 4,888,000 common shares of Chapters Inc. to 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 24, 2001. The initial expiry time for the takeover bid was 5:00 p.m. on January 3, 2001.

Trilogy is a private company owned by Gerald Schwartz, chief executive officer of Onex Corp., and his wife, Heather Reisman, chief executive officer of rival bookstore Indigo Books, Music and more Inc.

In the meantime, Chapters Inc. has announced record retail sales for the month of December, as well as strong sales for its fiscal third quarter (October 1 to December 30, 2000). The book behemoth's retail sales in December 2000 increased by 5.8 percent to $126.2 million CDN compared to $119.3 million in December 1999. December superstore sales increased 13.0 percent to $77.3 million CDN, compared with $68.4 million last year. Sales in December for the 57 comparable Chapters stores increased by 3.4 percent.

"In view of these Christmas results, and the milestones in short-term debt to nil, the record growth we are planning for Chapters in the upcoming fiscal year is especially promising," said Larry Stevenson, chief executive officer of Chapters. "It is increasingly clear that Trilogy's bid fails to reflect the true value of Chapters."