June 29, 2011, 4:24 PM

BJ’s accepts $2.8 billion to go private

Leonard Green and CVC will pay $51.25 for each share of common stock.

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BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. is going private thanks to a $2.8 billion offer from investment banking firms Leonard Green & Partners LP and CVC Capital Partners.

BJ’s, No. 247 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, accepted the offer after several weeks of deliberation. Under the terms of the cash deal, Leonard Green and CVC will pay $51.25 for each share of common stock.

The deal is expected to close sometime in the fourth quarter. “BJ's will benefit from the continued execution of our business plan and the significant retail expertise of our new partners at LGP and CVC, as well as from continued investments in our clubs, our people and technology, and the future of our business,” says BJ’s CEO Laura Sen.

The acquisition of BJ’s, a regional warehouse club with 190 locations in 15 states that sells online at BJs.com, is the culmination of several months of review and organizational changes. In February BJ’s announced it was exploring strategic alternatives, including the potential sale of the business and retained Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. as the financial advisor. In January BJ’s disclosed that it would close five underperforming clubs and would restructure its home office and certain field operations. The actions were part of a new strategy to improve operations, the company said at the time.

BJ’s is being acquired by at least one investment banking firm with a growing appetite for big chain retail deals. Leonard Green’ current retailing investments include J. Crew Group Inc., Jo-Ann Stores Inc., Whole Foods Market LP, The Neiman Marcus Group Inc., Petco Animal Supplies Inc., Leslie's Poolmart Inc., The Sports Authority, The Container Store Inc., David's Bridal Inc. and others.

Leonard Green acquired Jo-Ann, No. 264 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, in December for $1.3 billion.

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