Redcats to acquire Avenue business

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In a move designed to give it a strong retail store base, Redcats USA Inc. has agreed to acquire United Retail Group Inc., a specialty retailer of plus-size women's apparel and accessories, for $198.9 million.

The acquisition will strengthen New York-based Redcats's position in the growing women's plus-size apparel market, where it markets primarily via catalogs and e-commerce channels, while providing a national retail store base. United Retail Group, Rochelle Park, NJ, operates 483 Avenue stores. Redcats plus-size brands include Woman Within, formerly Lane Bryant, Roaman's and KingSize.

"The integration of Avenue into our portfolio of high-growth retail brands strengthens and diversifies our business and promises to create strong expansion opportunities," said Eric Faintreny, CEO of Redcats USA, in a statement.

"We believe that the combination of our two businesses will create a formidable entity in specialty retail," stated Raphael Benaroya, chairman and president/CEO, United Retail Group, in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Redcats USA, a division of French retailer PPR, will purchase all of the outstanding shares of United Retail Group for $13.70 per share in cash. The offer represents a 23 percent premium to the 90-day average of United Retail Group's share price.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Benaroya and George R. Remeta, United Retail Group's vice chairman and chief administrative officer, will remain with the company for a transition period of at least one year.

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