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Reddy Ice Holdings said Monday its has agreed to be acquired by GSO Capital Partners LP for about $1.1 billion. Shareholders will receive $31.25 a share -- a 9.6% premium over Friday's $28.52 close. Reddy Ice, the largest U.S. packaged ice maker and distributor, may solicit alternative proposals for 45 days. The deal is expected to close in Q4. Reddy Ice also lowered its 2007 guidance due to heavy rains in several key markets including Texas and Oklahoma; it now forecasts revenue of $350-360 million and earnings of $16.3-20.4 million ($0.74-0.93/share). The company previously forecast EPS of $0.87-1.06 and revenue of $360-370 million. Analysts had been expecting EPS of Reddy Ice 02 07 2007 Chart$0.94 and revenue of $365 million. Reddy Ice normally reports losses in Q1 and Q4, when people buy less ice. It manufactures and distributes approximately 1.9 million tons of ice a year.

Sources: Press release, Dow Jones, MarketWatch
Commentary: Reddy Ice: Aging Company Could Be Headed for the Deep FreezeReddy Ice Leaves Me Cold
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Reddy Ice Holdings Inc. (FRZ)
Related: Reddy Ice has scheduled a conference call for 9:00 a.m. ET; dial 888-321-8161, confirmation code 6146181. A replay can be heard at 800-642-1687 using the above confirmation code, or on the company's website, www.reddyice.com.

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Source: Reddy Ice to Go Private for $1.1 Billion