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Linens ‘n Things achieves buyout sales target

CLIFTON, N.J. -- Paving the way for the $1.3 billion sale of Linens 'n Things to buyout group Apollo Management, the superstore retailer said sales and operating profits for the fourth quarter of 2005, while weak, still squeaked past the targets set as a condition for financing the deal.

Same-store sales fell by 2.2 percent during the Christmas quarter, but that was still enough to get the deal done.Apollo had said it would do the deal if same-store sales fell no further than six percent. Not only did it meet the test, the retailer beat widespread investor expectations that comps would fall even further, by four percent or more. Overall sales for the quarter advanced by 5.2 percent, to $876 million.

Passing a second test, Linens ‘n Things said that helped by the better than expected sales, operating profits for the all-important Christmas quarter will "well exceed" the $140 million minimum set as a condition for the deal financing.

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