The 8,260 unit Dollar General Corp., based in Goodletsville, TN, has been acquired by a private investment group led by affiliates of New York City's Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP. This group also includes GS Capital Partners, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, and Citi Private Equity. The price tag was $7.3 billion.
The buyout represents a continuation of a trend among private equity firms to buy large retailers and take them private. KKR has been a key player in this trend. It is among the entities that paid $8.6 billion for the Toys 'R Us chain in 2005, and has also invested in the Fred Meyer discount department store chain and Regal Cinemas.
At the quarter end Nov. 3, 2006, Dollar General reported a same store sales increase of two percent on total sales, slightly in excess of $2.2 billion. As a private company, the retailer becomes more flexible by eliminating the need to continually satisfy shareholders. The company has said it would slow expansion from 600 new stores in 2006 to 300 this year and 400 in 2008.
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