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Aaron's Inc. gets $2.3B buyout offer | Business

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Aaron's Inc. gets $2.3B buyout offer

ATLANTA -- Atlanta rent-to-own giant Aaron's Inc. has gotten a $2.3 billion buyout offer from a Florida investment firm.

Orlando, Fla.-based Vintage Capital Management Inc. reported Friday it's offered to buy Aaron's for $30.50 a share. Aaron's shares closed Feb. 6 at $27.05 and jumped in trading Friday to $28.32.

The bid comes as Aaron's reported that its annual profit fell 30 percent in 2013. The company operates 2,150 stores. On Jan. 13, the company had warned that its financial performance wasn't meeting expectations.

"Many factors here in 2013 have caused us less than historical operational and financial performance, both external and internal," Aaron's CEO Ronald W. Allen said on a Friday conference call with analysts. "There's no doubt that our customers are under stress due to the difficult economic conditions most low to middle-income consumers are currently facing. We've also had change and distractions internally in 2013, which have affected our financial performance."

"And although we're not expecting the economic environment for our customers to significantly improve anytime soon, I feel that most of the internal issues are now behind us, and we're positioned for better execution in all levels of the organization to return to more formal -- more normal financial results," Allen said.

Vintage's buyout offer was not addressed on the conference call.

Vintage, which has ties to Aaron's, has spent $196 million buying up 7.3 million shares of Aaron's stock, or about 9.5 percent of the company's outstanding shares.

Visit 11Alive partner Atlanta Business Chronicle to read Vintage's Feb. 7 offer letter to Aaron's CEO Allen and the company's board.

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