KKR unveils $7.3bn US retail buyout

The global firm has agreed to buy Tennessee discount retailer Dollar General for $7bn.

Global private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has agreed to buy publicly traded US discount retailer Dollar General for approximately $7.3 billion (€5.5 billion). The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, Dollar General was founded in Scottsville, Kentucky in 1939. It is currently run by its chairman and chief executive officer David Perdue.

The company has more than 8,000 stores throughout the US, the majority of which are leased, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, the company does own four distribution centers in Kentucky, Ohio, Florida and South Carolina and is building a fifth center in Marion, Indiana.

Its products include food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies and housewares. Shareholders will receive $22 per share in cash. That value is a 31 percent premium over the company’s $16.78 closing share price on March 9. It is also a 29 percent premium over its average closing share price during the previous 30 trading days, Dollar General said in a statement.

Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers are providing the debt financing for the transaction. KKR has made a number of investments in the retail industry, including supermarkets, consumer drugstores and specialty retail. The firm acquired Wayne, New Jersey-based toy retailer Toys “R” Us for $11.3 billion in 2005.