Ares Offers $1.55B for 99 Cents Only Stores

Ares Capital has offered $1.55 billion for 99 Cents Only Stores, topping a $1.41 billion offer reportedly made by Leonard Green & Partners, Reuters reported, citing the New York Post. Ares reportedly offered $22 a share for the company. Shares of 99 Cents closed at $20.05 Thursday.

(Reuters) – 99 Cents Only Stores (NDN.N) has received a takeover offer from private equity firm Ares Capital Corp (ARCC.O) that rivals an existing bid from Leonard Green & Partners, a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday.

The New York Post reported that Ares made a binding offer in the range of $22 a share, or about $1.55 billion, topping Leonard Green’s offer, which is in the range of $20 a share, or $1.41 billion.

Shares of 99 Cents gained 8.4 percent to close at $20.05 on Thursday.

Ares, Leonard Green and 99 Cents could not be immediately reached for comment.

In March, Leonard Green and the Schiffer-Gold family, which owns about a third of 99 Cents’ stock, offered $19.09 per share for the company.

The New York Post also reported on Thursday that private equity firm Apollo Management [APOLO.UL] had dropped out of the running for the dollar chain after being unable to arrange the funds.

In September, the New York Post had said Apollo Management was weighing a $24 a share bid for 99 Cents. The report also said that Leonard Green was mulling a final offer that would be higher than its prior proposal of $1.3 billion.

The Schiffer-Gold family was willing to support either Apollo or Leonard Green, and sell most of its shares to the winning bidder, the paper had said. (Reporting by Chris Jonathan Peters in Bangalore and Jessica Hall in Philadelphia; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Matthew Lewis)