Rent-A-Center Buyout Expected In Next Month or Two: Sources

Buyout shop Vintage Capital Management LLC and other bidders are reviewing activist-targeted Rent-A-Center's (RCII) books, and a sale of the rent-to-own retailer is likely to be announced in a month or two, people familiar with the situation said.

Rent-A-Center has received multiple bids to acquire the whole rent-to-own company, which is in active discussions with potential bidders, they said.

In October, Rent-A-Center said it had retained JPMorgan Securities LLC and was launching a process to explore strategic alternatives, a move that came five months after activist Glenn Welling and his fund, Engaged Capital LLC, succeeded at installing a minority-slate of three dissident director candidates to the company's board.

However, the sources note that the review really didn't get underway until the company's chief executive, Mark Speese, who was not supportive of a sale, left in January. Speese was replaced in the CEO role by Mitch Fadel, a director and former RCII president who was installed on the company's board in June as part of Engaged Capital's minority-slate of director candidates. Another opponent to a sale, Rent-A-Center's ex-chairman, Steven Pepper, resigned in October.

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