Ares Tops Green Bid For 99 Cent Only

Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board agreed to buy publicly traded 99 Cents Only Stores for about $1.6 billion in cash, topping a rival offer by private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, sister news service Reuters reported.

Ares Management is teaming up with the members of the Schiffer/Gold family, who are the biggest shareholders in the company, to offer $22 a share for the retailer, compared with Leonard Green’s $19.09 bid. The latest offer represents a 32 percent premium to the stock’s trading levels prior to Leonard Green’s offer, which was made in March.

In March, the Schiffer/Gold family said it was joining hands with Leonard Green to offer $1.34 billion to take the discount chain private, an offer some analysts said was too low. There have been media reports of possible interest by private equity firm Apollo Global Management as well, but the New York Post reported that Apollo dropped out of the race for the dollar chain.

Eric Schiffer will continue as its chief executive and Jeff Gold as its president and operation head after the deal, the company said in a statement. The Schiffer/Gold family will continue to hold a significant minority stake in the company.

(Meenakshi Iyer is a trainee correspondent for Reuters in Bangalore; additional reporting by Mihir Dalal.)