Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Linens 'n Things deal gets U.S. antitrust approval

U.S. antitrust authorities said on Tuesday they approved plans by Linens 'n Things Inc. to be taken over by private equity firm Apollo Management L.P. and its affiliates.

Officials have completed their investigation of the $1.3 billion deal without taking action, the Federal Trade Commission said in a notice.

Linens 'n Things faces stiff competition from larger rival Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and discounters such as Target Corp. ), which have expanded home decor offerings.

Under the terms of the Apollo deal, financing is contingent upon Linens 'n Things reporting a fourth-quarter comparable sales decline of no more than 6 percent and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of not less than $140 million.