CPI to Buy Portrait's Assets; Shares Hit Record High

CPI Corp. (CPIC), a provider of portrait photos, said it had agreed to pay $100 million for the assets of bankrupt Portrait Corporation of America, the sole North American photographer for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) CPI shares surged to a record high.

The stock rose $9.41, or 14 percent, to $75.08 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading at 4:01 p.m. The shares have more than quadrupled in the past year.

CPI spokeswoman Jane Nelson wouldn't say whether the purchase includes Portrait's license with Bentonville, Arkansas- based Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer. The agreement with closely held Portrait must still be approved by a bankruptcy court, she said.

CPI, based in St. Louis, operates SearPhotos.com, the Web site for Sears Holding Corp. customers wishing to archive, share and order additional portraits. CPI said it plans to upgrade the equipment of Matthew, North Carolina-based Portrait using digital technology.

To contact the reporter on this story: Demian McLean in Washington at dmclean8@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeff Ward at jward@bloomberg.net.

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