Private Equity Firm Takes Teen Clothing Retailer rue21 Private

Money, US, $100 billsBefore markets opened this morning, specialty retailer rue21 Inc. (NASDAQ: RUE) and private equity firm Apax Partners announced that they had reached a definitive agreement under which funds controlled by Apax will acquire all outstanding shares of rue21 for $42 a share in cash. The acquisition price represents a premium of about 23% to last night's closing price of rue21's shares.

The total value of the acquisition is approximately $1.1 billion. Apax-controlled funds already own about 30% of rue21's stock. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of this year.

Under the terms of the agreement, rue21 has a 40-day "go-shop" period during which it may actively seek and accept a better offer. Should a better deal turn up, rue21 will pay a termination fee of about $10 million. Apax Partners is based in London.

In conjunction with this announcement, rue21 also offered preliminary first-quarter 2013 results. The company said net sales rose 9.1% year-over-year for the quarter, but that same-store sales fell by 4.6%. Diluted EPS is expected to total $0.44, short of analysts' consensus estimate of $0.48.

Shares of rue21 are up about 23.1% in premarket trading this morning to $42.00, after closing at $34.12 last night. The stock's 52-week range is $23.85 to $35.25, and its all-time high price was around $37 in the summer of 2011.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Apparel, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mergers and Buy Outs, Private Equity, Retail Tagged: RUE
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