Rent-A-Center shareholders approve merger plan

Rent-A-Center is one step closer to going private.

The rent-to-own retailer’s shareholders voted in favor of the company to be acquired by Orlando, Florida-based Vintage Capital Management for $1.365 billion, including debt. There were 41.54 million votes in favor of the merger and 2.91 million shareholders who voted against the plan, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The vote comes on the heels of the Federal Trade Commission requesting additional information and documents from both companies as it conducts a competition review of Rent-A-Center and Buddy’s Home Furnishings, a privately-held rent-to-own company owned by Vintage — and competitor of Rent-A-Center. The review will extend the current waiting period imposed by law until 30 days after Rent-A-Center and Buddy’s have substantially complied with the request. Both companies are cooperating with the FTC, according to Rent-A-Center.

Rent-A-Center and Vintage Capital both expect the deal to close during the first quarter of 2019.

The rent-to-own company operates approximately 2,350 stores in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico, and approximately 1,250 Acceptance Now kiosk locations in the United States and Puerto Rico.