FINANCE

Rent-A-Center to be acquired for $1.37 billion

BY Marianne Wilson

Rent-A-Center is going private.

The rent-to-own retailer on Monday said it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of buyout firm Vintage Capital Management in a deal valued at $1.37 billion, including debt. Vintage will buy the company for $15 per Rent-A-Center share, which is $1 per share above its previous offer price and represents a premium of 25% to the stock’s closing price on Friday.

Vintage Capital is the controlling shareholder of Buddy’s Home Furnishings, a Florida-based rival of Rent-A-Center, which operates 330 stores, mostly in the South. The company has been pursuing Rent-A-Center since last fall, when it offered to buy the company for $13 a share. Last week, Vintage upped its offer to $14 a share

“Vintage is a natural partner for Rent-A-Center given its deep knowledge of the rent-to-own industry, and we look forward to partnering with them to realize the full benefits of the transaction.” said Mitch Fadel, CEO of Rent-A-Center.

Rent-A-Center owns approximately 2,400 stores in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico, and approximately 1,250 Acceptance Now kiosk locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Rent-A-Center Franchising International, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company, is a national franchiser of approximately 250 rent-to-own stores operating under the trade names of “Rent-A-Center,” “ColorTyme,” and “RimTyme.”

“We believe that the combination of Rent-A-Center, Buddy’s and Vintage is a compelling opportunity to utilize our resources and expertise to enhance value and create a leader in the rent-to-own industry,” said Brian R. Kahn, managing member and founder of Vintage Capital and chairman of Buddy’s Newco (Buddy’s Home Furnishing).

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