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From Home Furnishing Business

Aaron's Acquires Progressive

Rent-to-own retailer Aaron's  (NYSE: AAN) has acquired Progressive Finance Holdings,  an online lease-to-own retailer, in a $700 million cash transaction.

Aaron's said the acquisition gives it an "entry point" into the virtual rent-to-own market.

"This is a highly complementary and transformative acquisition for Aaron's, and we are eager to capture the significant opportunities this combination will provide for our customers, franchisees, and shareholders," said Ronald Allen. "Aaron's remains firmly committed to our goals of providing quality, affordable merchandise and earning high customer satisfaction by offering favorable lease terms and outstanding customer support.  We expect that with Progressive's best-in-class virtual customer payment capabilities, coupled with our industry leading traditional lease-to-own model, we will create an omni-channel business, providing customers with better payment options, and enhancing Aaron's competitive position."

Founded in 1999, Progressive offers point-of-sale lease and purchase programs to consumers who don't qualify for traditional financing. The company works with 5,500 retail partners with about 15,000 locations. Merchant partners include Mattress Firm (NASDAQ: MFRM), Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) Art Van Furniture and Sleepy's.

Aaron's expects the transaction to be double-digit accretive to earnings per share in the current fiscal year and more accretive to earnings per share in 2015.

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