Trial Begins on Rent-A-Center's Disputed Merger With Vintage Capital and $126.5 Million Breakup Fee

A trail about Plano-based Rent-A-Center's refusal to merge with Vintage Capital Management started Monday in the Chancery Court of Delaware.The Florida-based private equity firm filed the lawsuit in late December and asked for an expedited trial. The court scheduled the trail for Monday and Tuesday before Judge Sam Glasscock. Rent-A-Center terminated the merger in December with Vintage, which also owns Buddy's Home Furnishings, the third largest rent-to-own chain after Atlanta-based Aaron's Inc. and Rent-A-Center.Rent-A-Center agreed in June and its shareholders approved in September an $800 million acquisition of the company by Vintage. Rent-A-Center claims that Vintage didn't file an extension of the merger by deadline. Vintage has claimed that the two companies had agreed to an extension with the FTC while the government antitrust review was still underway.At stake is a $126.5 million reverse breakup fee and Rent-A-Center has demanded it.Rent-A-Center CEO Mitch Fadel said in an emailed response that the company is entitled to the fee "in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement."  Continue reading...

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