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Thorn Agrees To Acquire Wichita-Based Rental Firm

July 29, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ Thorn EMI PLC, a British electronics and entertainment company, said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire Rent-A-Center Inc., a U.S. appliance and furniture rental company.

The price of $27 a share totals $594 million in cash and is subject to approval by Thorn shareholders, the company said.

Rent-A-Center is based in Wichita, Kan., and operates 270 stories itself and has 168 franchisees in 38 states.

Thorn said the deal would give it ″a unique opportunity to expand the company’s international rental business in the U.S.″

It said the combined company would be one of the world’s biggest buyers of consumer electronics ″and this increased purchasing power should result in economies for both organizations.″

Thorn said Rent-A-Center’s two principal shareholders, who have 32.6 percent of the stock, had granted Thorn the option of buying their shares at $27, and Thorn also was given an option by Rent-A-Center to buy additional shares at $27 that would give Thorn 50.6 percent of the outstanding common stock.

Thorn said it would finance the acquisition by selling new shares in its own stock.

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