Aaron's buys Progressive Finance, cuts outlook

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 15, 2014 at 7:44 am •  Published: April 15, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — Furniture leasing company Aaron's has agreed to buy online rent-to-own finance company Progressive Finance Holdings for $700 million in cash in a bid to turn around its business even as it cut its first-quarter outlook.

Meanwhile, Aaron's also said it rejected a takeover offer from Vintage Capital Management, its second largest shareholder, for $30.50 per share, a 1 percent premium on the stock's closing price Monday. Aaron's says the offer is not in the best interest of shareholders.

Aaron's sells and leases furniture and accessories and offers flexible payment plans for people with credit problems.

Aaron's says it expects the acquisition of Progressive, from Summit Partners, to help its earnings in 2014.

Aaron's also cut its first-quarter revenue and earnings outlook, blaming the weather and difficult economic conditions.

"Like many retail companies, we continue to be adversely affected by the current macroeconomic environment, and many of our stores were negatively impacted by abnormal weather conditions during the quarter," said CEO Ronald W. Allen.

The Atlanta-based company now expects earnings of 51 cents to 54 cents per share, down from 57 cents to 62 cents per share. It expects revenue of $587.5 million, down from $600 million.