August 9, 2006 in Business

Aramark approves $6.3 billion buyout

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

PHILADELPHIA — Aramark Corp., the nation’s largest food-service company, said Tuesday it agreed to be acquired for $6.3 billion by an investment group led by its longtime chief executive.

The purchase also includes the assumption of about $2 billion in debt.

Aramark shareholders will get $33.80 in cash for each share, an improvement upon the $32-per-share initial bid made by the same group in May. The purchase price represents a 20 percent premium over Aramark’s closing stock price on April 28, the last trading day before the first bid.

Aramark provides services at three hospitals in the Inland Northwest — Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, Valley Hospital & Medical Center in Spokane Valley and Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d’Alene.

The acquisition is expected to close by early next year. An Aramark spokeswoman said Chairman and Chief Executive Joseph Neubauer will contribute up to $250 million.

It is Neubauer’s second time leading an Aramark management buyout. He first did it in 1984 to thwart corporate raiders who attempted to mount a hostile takeover. Aramark went public in 2001, three months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

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