Leonard Green & Partners are apparently willing to pay over 20x p/e to buy BJ's at 2.5x book. BJ's has no international dimension and only $1 cash per share.
Makes international footwear brand Skechers (NYSE:SKX) $21 look pretty cheap folks at 7x p/e, $8 cash per share and a 20%+ short interest.
There is talk of approaches by well known IB's, but I understand the Greenberg family would reject any buyout offer (though even a rejection wouldn't hurt the share price) since they feel they can grow Skechers to be the global #3 footwear company rather than just the US/Canada #2.
Given the cash on the balance sheet an MBO would make more sense to the Greenbergs than an LBO.
My understanding though is that the Greenbergs are so passionate about growing the top line internationally that they are reluctant to crimp prospective growth by loading the balance sheet with buyout debt.
Since the family and trusts already own over $400 million in SKX stock I think they are right to choose the international expansion option over excessive financial engineering / MBO.
As the COO indicated during the conference call, SKX will have a record cash balance at the end of the 1st qtr (about $8 to $9 per share) and they will address their options for the use of cash then. Given that SKX will again become a cash machine as they rebalance their toning inventories, they will likely announce a buyback at some point, which would boost EPS substantially.
Per Sporstcan, October month toning up 5x y/y and headed to top $1 billion with SKX at 56% share and here comes Xmas. So much for the 'end of toning' thesis.
Disclosure: long SKX