Regional department store chain Elder-Beerman Corp on Tuesday said retail giant Bon-Ton Stores Inc had offered $7 a share for the company, valuing it at $80 million.

The Ohio-based operator of nearly 70 stores, which recently accepted a $6 a share offer by Wright Holdings Inc, said in a short statement its board had authorised the firm to provide non-public information to Bon-Ton and enter into negotiations.

The country's ninth largest department store chain said there could be no guarantee as to the outcome of the discussions with Bon-Ton and added it is continuing to proceed under its merger agreement with Wright Holdings.

Bon-Ton said in its own news release "a combination of the two companies would be in the best interests of both companies' shareholders, customers and employees" and it wants to complete the deal by the end of September.

Pennsylvania-based Bon-Ton operates 72 department stores in the eastern United States while Elder-Beerman’s stores are scattered throughout Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.