Bosses of EB Acquisition Ltd may make a fresh offer for department store group Elder-Beerman Stores Corp after the retailer's chairman said the company would be open to higher bids.

In a statement Friday, EB Acquisition said it had noted comments by Elder-Beerman's chairman Steve Mason in The Dayton Daily News where he revealed his board would debate a higher offer but the bidder will have to pay fees of up to $3 million.

Last week, the country's ninth-largest department store group threw out EB Acquisition's bid of $5.50 a share and agreed to be acquired by Wright Holdings Inc for $6 a share in a deal which values it at $68.4 million.

"In response to this recent disclosure, our company is forced to reconsider its interest in making an increased bid to buy the company," commented Dan Summers, managing member of EB Acquisition."

But he added: "Any increased bid made to buy the company is automatically reduced by $3m. Such fees included in this merger agreement only enrich management's buyout and penalise the shareholders."

Ohio-based Elder-Beerman currently operates around 70 stores.