Artemis parent near deal with embroidery firm.

Sheridan Square Entertainment, which owns Artemis and Musicrama, is negotiating a merger with Hirsch International Corp., a publicly traded distributor of embroidery machines and systems.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but the two companies apparently have signed a letter of intent, with a definitive agreement still to be negotiated. If the boards of both companies approve the transaction, it is expected to be close by the end of July.

Its unclear what synergies could be realized by the contemplated merger, although it would allow New York-based Sheridan Square to become part of a publicly traded company without undergoing an initial public offering.

A statement from Hauppauge, N.Y.-based Hirsch says its objective from the merger is to launch its expansion into higher-growth businesses and to provide a platform for future ventures in music and related businesses.

In its most recent financial disclosure, Hirsch posted net income of $500,000 on sales of $11.9 million for the three months ended Oct. 30, 2004; for the nine-month period, the company lost $1.3 million on $31.9 million in sales.

Hirsch stock closed Friday (April 15) at $1.03, giving it a market capitalization of $8.6 million. At midday today, an hour after the deal was announced, shares were trading at $1.12. The stock's 52-week range is $0.81-$1.91.