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99 Cents Only shares jump after report of new takeover bid

October 6, 2011 |  4:50 pm

99 cents only

99 Cents Only Stores Inc. has received a takeover offer from a private equity firm that tops an earlier bid from Leonard Green & Partners, according to a news report.

The New York Post said Thursday that Ares Capital Corp. made an offer for the City of Commerce-based deep-discount chain in the range of $22 a share, or about $1.55 billion. The paper cited two sources "close to the situation."

99 Cents Only shares rose 8.4% to $20.05 on the news.

In March, 99 Cents Only said it had received a $1.3-billion buyout proposal from its founding family and Leonard Green, a Los Angeles investment firm, to take the retailer private. Investors viewed that bid as too low and quickly pushed the stock price above the $19.09 a share offered by the Schiffer/Gold family and Leonard Green.

On Thursday, Eric Schiffer, chief executive of 99 Cents Only, declined to talk about the report or any possible bids. "We don't comment," he said. "As far as I know, other people shouldn't be commenting to anybody."

A spokesman for Ares also declined to comment.

The New York Post said private equity firm Apollo Global Management had also been vying for 99 Cents Only but dropped out several weeks ago "after struggling to line up debt financing at what it considered to be acceptable terms."


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-- Andrea Chang

Photo: A 99 Cents Only store in Los Angeles. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times