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Cranberry company gets $1B buyout offer

May 23, 2013 News Extra

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CRANBERRY TWP — A teen clothing retailer based in the Thorn Hill Industrial Park has a $1.1 billion buyout in place from a New York-based private equity firm.

However, the Cranberry-based company will continue to solicit other offers for 40 days before it agrees to the deal.

Apax Partners plans to buy all outstanding shares of rue21 for $42 per share in cash as part of the deal. rue21 shares closed Wednesday at $34.12.

The deal would give the private equity firm control of the company. Apex has been an investor for the company for years.

The sale is expected to close by the end of this year. Following completion of the transaction, rue21 would remain headquartered in Cranberry. Rue21 operates 932 stores in 47 states.

“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,” said Bob Fisch, rue21 president and CEO.

As part of the agreement, rue 21 will conduct a 40-day “go-shop” process starting today during which it will solicit, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations with any parties willing to offer a better proposal.

The go-shop process provides for a low termination fee of 1 percent, or about $10 million, to be paid to Apax.

Fisch said he is willing to work with anyone who emerges through this process.

rue21 plans to open 125 stores new stores this year, which it expected will increase profits in the upcoming quarters.

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