New York -- Apax Partners will acquire the 900-store, teen apparel retailer Rue 21 in a deal valued at about $1.1 billion. The private equity firm, which has a 30% stake in Rue21, also owns Cole Haan and Takko Fashion as part of its retail portfolio.
Rue21's board approved the transaction based on a unanimous recommendation by a special committee made up of three independent directors. The company has set up a special committee of independent directors to solicit and evaluate higher bids during a 40-day go-shop period.
Rue21 has been expanding, and is on track to open its 1,000th location by the end of the year. It eventually plans to expand its presence to more than 1,700 locations.
“We are proud that a sophisticated investor such as Apax continues to believe in our core strategy and recognizes our value-generating capabilities,” said Bob Fisch, chairman, president and CEO of Rue21. “This transaction will allow us to focus on achieving our long-term objectives, including growing our business to over 1,700 stores in the U.S. and successfully implementing new initiatives such as e-commerce and rueMan."