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BJ's sells itself for $2.8B

BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. (BJ-N) said Wednesday it has agreed to be bought by private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners for $2.8 billion US in cash.

Under terms of the deal the wholesale club's shareholders will get $51.25 a share in cash for each share common stock they hold -- a premium of about 6.8 percent to the closing price of BJ's shares on June 28.

Shares of BJ's, which put itself up for sale in February, were up 4.7 percent at $50.35 in premarket trading.

BJ's operates 190 warehouse clubs, primarily in the eastern United States. It is a much smaller warehouse club than Costco Wholesale Corp  and Wal-Mart Stores Inc's  Sam's Club chain. The clubs charge members annual fees to shop for everything from diapers to electronics at discounted prices.

The deal, approved unanimously by BJ's board, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011.

On June 17, Leonard Green & Partners said it had teamed up with CVC Capital Partners to bid for BJ's.

Leonard Green a year ago disclosed it had bought 9.5 percent of BJ's shares. The offer price, represents about a 38 percent premium over BJ's share price before Leonard Green's stake was made public.

Leonard Green, which manages $9 billion, holds stakes in a number of other retailers, including Whole Foods Market and luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group.

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