Los Angeles Business Journal

True Religion to Go Private in $835 Million Deal

By Business Journal Staff Originally published May 10, 2013 at 8:58 a.m., updated May 10, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.

True Religion Apparel Inc. on Friday said that it has agreed to be acquired by investment management firm TowerBrook Capital Partners LP in a deal worth about $835 million.

The Vernon designer denim maker said it entered into a definitive merger agreement with an affiliate of funds managed by TowerBrook, a New York and London-based investment management firm.

TowerBrook will acquire all outstanding shares of True Religion common stock for $32 share in cash, a 9 percent premium to the stock's closing price on Thursday.

True Religion announced in October that it was exploring strategic alternatives. TowerBrook has significant experience in the consumer retail and luxury space, it said Friday, and has invested in companies such as Jimmy Choo, Odlo, BevMo! and Phase Eight.

If approved by shareholders and anti-trust regulators, the deal is expected to close in the third quarter, True Religion said.

True Religion Apparel separately reported that first-quarter net income had fallen to $526,000, or 2 cents a share, compared with $10.4 million (41 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose 13 percent to nearly $121 million.

Excluding separation expenses and other one-time items. adjusted net income was $5.7 million (22 cents). Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company to report adjusted profit of 34 cents on revenue of $113 million.

Shares closed up $2.38, or 8 percent, to $31.82 on the Nasdaq.