99-Cent Only stores to consider going private

Discount chain 99-Cent Only Stores formed a special committee to evaluate a $1.34 billion takeover proposal by members of its founding family and Los Angeles buyout firm Leonard Green & Partners, as well as other options.

The City of Commerce-based company said the panel is made up of independent directors Lawrence Glascott, Marvin Holen and Peter Woo. The three were previously asked to evaluate a $19.09-a-share cash offer March 10 by Leonard Green Partners, the company said in a statement today.

Dollar stores have become takeover targets in the U.S. after grabbing shoppers from traditional retail chains including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Family Dollar Stores Inc. last month rejected an unsolicited takeover bid by Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management, saying it undervalues the second-largest U.S. dollar store chain.

The Schiffer-Gold family, 99-Cent Only's founders, has said that they will consider other possible bidders. The family owned about a third of the company as of March 11.

99-Cent Only, led by Chief Executive Officer Eric Schiffer, sells items from toys to pet food to cleaning supplies for less than $1. As of Dec. 25, it had no debt and cash of $24 million, an increase of 21 percent from a year earlier, according to its third quarter earnings statement Feb. 2. During the period, revenue advanced 1.8 percent to $365.4 million.

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