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Claire's accepts $3.1B takeover

By accepting a private-equity firm's offer, the jewelry chain is the latest retailer to be bought out.

Associated Press
Published March 21, 2007


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MIAMI - Costume jewelry retailer Claire's Stores Inc. said Tuesday it agreed to a $3.1-billion takeover proposal from New York-based private-equity firm Apollo Management LP.

Claire's, which operates about 3,000 stores around the United States and the world under the names Claire's and Icing by Claire's, sells low-cost costume jewelry and accessories primarily to tweens, teens and young adults.

The Pembroke Pines-based company is the latest among a number of major retail outlets that have taken buyouts. The company last year retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. as its financial adviser to assist in the search for buyers.

Under terms of the agreement, Claire's shareholders will receive $33 in cash per share. The purchase price represents a 7.3 percent premium to the stock's Monday closing price on the New York Stock Exchange. On Tuesday, however, company shares were traded up $1.12, or 3.64 percent, to close at $31.88.

Bonnie and Marla Schaefer, Claire's co-chairwomen and chief executives, issued a joint statement saying the Apollo offer is "in the best interests of our shareholders."

The Schaefer family, which owns a significant percentage of Claire's equity, agreed to vote its shares in favor of the deal.

"We look forward to partnering with Claire's management team and employees to build on the many strengths of the company," said Peter Copses, a senior partner at Apollo. "We believe that the increased flexibility available to a private company will enable Claire's to capitalize on the many opportunities before it, both here and abroad."

The deal is subject to regulatory review and the approval of Claire's shareholders.

[Last modified March 20, 2007, 23:14:14]


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