ATLANTA -- Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), which manufactures furniture that it rents along with appliances through hundreds of its own retail stores and franchise outlets, says it received an unsolicited buyout offer from Vintage Capital Management
Aaron's has hit a rough patch in its business, as net income plunged 38% in the fourth quarter to $22.7 million, and revenue dropped 2% to $553.9 million.
Vintage Capital Management, Orlando, FL, currently holds equity in a competitor of Aaron's, Buddy Rents, and previously held a stake in Aaron's. Vintage has also previously attempted to buy Aaron's.
Litigation expenses took a toll. Included in 2013 pre-tax earnings was an accrual of $28.4 million related to a pending regulatory investigation by the California Attorney General into Aaron's leasing, marketing and privacy practices. Also during 2013, $4.9 million of charges were recorded related to retirement expenses and a change in vacation policies; and in 2012, a $10.4 million charge to earnings was recorded for costs associated with retirement expenses along with recognition of $35.5 million of income related to the settlement of a lawsuit.
Net income was also hit by the recognition of income tax benefits primarily related to the Aaron's furniture manufacturing operations and increased federal and state tax credits being applied to lower than expected earnings.
Aaron's, Inc., based in Atlanta, currently has more than 2,115 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. The Company's Woodhaven Furniture Industries division manufactured approximately $104 million, at cost, of furniture and bedding at 14 facilities in seven states in 2013. Most of the production of Woodhaven is for shipment to Aaron's stores.
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