Westborough, Mass. - BJ's Wholesale
Club has agreed to be acquired by a group of equity investors for about $2.8
billion in cash.
The No. 3 wholesale club announced
in February that it had hired Morgan Stanley to help explore and evaluate strategic
alternatives, including a possible sale.
The buyers are Leonard Green &
Partners, L.P., which acquired a 9.5 percent stake in the company in June 2010,
and funds advised by CVC Capital Partners. The deal, which was unanimously
approved by the retailer's board, will deliver shareholders a 7 percent premium
over yesterday's closing price of BJ's shares.
The transaction is expected to close
during the fourth quarter of 2011 subject to shareholder approval and
BJ's president/CEO Laura Sen said
the regional chain "will benefit from the continued execution of our business
plan and the significant retail expertise of our new partners ... as well as from
continued investments in our clubs, our people and technology, and the future
of our business."
BJ's was founded in New England in
1984 and has since expanded to 190 stores in 15 Eastern states.
Leonard Green & Partners also
has investments in such retail chains as J. Crew, Jo-Ann Stores, Whole Foods Market,
Neiman Marcus Group, Petco Animal Supplies, Leslie's Poolmart, The Sports
Authority, The Container Store, Tourneau, David's Bridal, Jetro Cash &
Carry and The Tire Rack.