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Claire's Stores to be acquired

March 21, 2007|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Jewelry and accessories retailer Claire's Stores Inc. said Tuesday that it would be acquired by private equity firm Apollo Management for about $3.1 billion.

Apollo would pay $33 a share for Claire's, which targets girls and young women with its baubles. Shares of Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based Claire's rose $1.12 to $31.88 after the announcement.

Claire's said members of its founding family, who own about one-third of the company's voting shares, would support the deal.

The retailer put itself up for sale in December and hired Goldman Sachs to help it explore its options. The company has suffered from weak international sales and a shift to lower-priced accessories.

"The decision to sell the company that our father founded was reached after an enormous amount of soul-searching," said Bonnie Schaefer and Marla Schaefer, Claire's co-chief executives.

Claire's, which operates about 3,000 stores, said the deal with Apollo would allow it to expand into a stronger global brand.

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