Private equity firms to take over BJ's Wholesale

By the Associated Press | June 29, 2011 | 7:45 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — BJ's Wholesale Club is being acquired by two private equity investors for roughly $2.8 billion.

The nation's third-largest wholesale club said Wednesday that Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners will pay $51.25 per share in cash for BJ's common stock. That's a 6.6 percent premium over Tuesday's closing price of $48.08.

BJ's has 190 stores in 15 states. Analysts say the takeover could help propel its growth.

BJ's said its board unanimously approved the buyout and is recommending that shareholders vote for it.

The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter.

Shares of BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. jumped 5 percent, or $2.32, to $50.40 before the market opened.