Recognizing the value of a dollar store

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — First it was Family Dollar; now 99 Cents Only Stores finds itself in buyout talks, as investors are seeing the value in discount store chains.

The company has received a proposal to take the company private from the company's founding family and investment firm Leonard Green & Partners for $19.09 per share, the Associated Press reported. The offer would value the company at about $1.3 billion. According to 99 Cents, the purchasers would include the Schiffer-Gold family, which owns about 33% of its outstanding stock. David Gold is company founder and chairman, and his son-in-law Eric Schiffer is CEO.

In a letter sent to the company, the family indicated that it is ready to contribute a "substantial portion" of its existing stock ownership as part of the proposed acquisition. The letter also said the family has not made any commitment of exclusivity with Leonard Green related to the proposal.

99 Cents said its board has yet to evaluate the proposal and that there is no guarantee a definitive offer will be made.

The Commerce, Calif., company said it expects to create a special committee comprised of independent board members to assess the bid.

Leonard Green has been active in the retail space of late. It was part of the $3 billion J. Crew buyout, along with TPG Capital, that closed on Monday. It also has offered $1.6 billion for Jo-Ann Stores and reportedly has expressed interest in BJ's Wholesale Club.

Last month, Family Dollar Stores received a buyout offer from a New York hedge fund at $55 to $60 per share, a 36% premium over yesterday’s closing price. The offer, which values the company at up to $7.6 billion, was made by Trian Group, which is headed by activist investor Nelson Peltz.