Leonard Green & Partners has agreed to take Jo-Ann Stores (NYSE: JAS) private for $1.6 billion. The firm will pay Jo-Ann shareholders $61 in cash per share, a 34% premium. JP Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch and TCW/Crescent Mezzanine are providing debt financing for the transaction. Jo-Ann is a specialty retailer of fabrics and crafts and is being legally advised by Sullivan & Cromwell and Thompson Hine. Latham & Watkins and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey are providing legal counsel to LGP.
2010 has revealed a renewed interest in large deals amongst PE investors. Since the beginning of 2009, PE investors have completed 94 investments of at least $500 million, according to the PitchBook platform. With 68 of those deals completed this year, 2010 has more than doubled the number of $500 million+ deals closed during 2009. Those 68 deals alone have included about $77.6 billion of capital. 2010 has also witnessed the closing of the six largest deals during the two-year time period. The bigger deals this year have been made possible by an increased availability of debt and a build-up of capital in PE investors' coffers.