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NRDC RE Advisors closes on $1.3b Linens 'N Things buy.

After being outbid in its efforts to buy both Toys 'R Us and Pathmark, NRDC Real Estate Advisors has closed on the acquisition of Linens 'N Things.

The total consideration paid to Linens 'N Things stockholders is $1.3 billion. The principal equity sponsors include affiliates of NRDC and Apollo Management, L.P..

In 2005, Linens 'N Things financial performance weakened due to less effective merchandising and marketing initiatives that were implemented in the second half of 2004 and in 2005.

However, the underlying fundamentals of Linens 'N Things remain strong, including strong brand name recognition, attractive real estate locations and the fundamentals of the industry are very favorable.

Spearheading the company's turnaround is new chairman, Robert J. DiNicola, a 34-year veteran of the retail industry, with extensive experience in retail, including home furnishings. Under Mr. DiNicola's leadership, Linens 'N Things intends to focus on growing sales per square foot and improving the productivity of the existing store base, which is the key to improving profitability and cash flow.

NRDC Real Estate Advisors continues to review portfolios of several other major companies in the United States and abroad.

"While we were disappointed when we were out bid for both Toys 'R Us and Pathmark, we believe that Linens 'N Things offers us a growth opportunity for both the United States and Canada.

"Our team continues to work through the process of acquiring a variety of other retailers both in the United States and internationally," says Richard A. Baker, President, NRDC.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Feb 22, 2006
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