After months of speculation about a PE buyout of BJ's Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ), two PE firms have finally made it to the checkout line. Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners have entered into a definitive agreement to take the warehouse club operator private for $2.8 billion. The firms will pay BJ's shareholders $51.25 per share of common stock, which represents a 38% premium. The transaction, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close during 4Q 2011.
In the last year and a half, PE investors have invested in 494 B2C companies, according to the PitchBook Platform. So far this year, 159 deals have been completed in the B2C industry, putting 2011 in reach of matching 2010's final completed deal tally of 338. Public-to-private buyouts, like the announced BJ's deal, have been rare in the industry with only 16 such deals being completed since the beginning of 2010. Those 16 deals, however, have involved larger sums of money than the usual B2C deal. The median deal size for those public-to-private buyouts is $575 million, well above the median deal size of $58 million for the overall industry.