Aramark shares soar on $5.9 billion bid
Aramark Shares Soar As CEO-led Group Bids $32 A Share

NEW YORK (Dow Jones) - Aramark Corp. on Monday said it received a buyout offer from an investment group led by its chief executive, sending shares soaring above the $32 a share offer price.

Philadelphia -based Aramark (RMK), which provides food services to schools, hospitals and stadiums, said its board formed a special committee of independent directors to consider the offer, launched by Chairman and CEO Joseph Neubauer and four investment funds: GS Capital Partners, Thomas H. Lee Partners, J.P. Morgan Partners, and Warburg Pincus LLC.

The offer values the company at about $5.94 billion, based on the number of shares outstanding at the end of 2005.

Neubauer said in a letter to the board that he would make a "significant investment" in the deal and expects to provide the opportunity for other members of senior management to do the same.

He also said the deal would be funded through $6.25 billion in debt financing from Goldman Sachs (GS) and J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) .

Aramark shares were up 19% at $33.50 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, after hitting an all-time high of $34.95 earlier in the session. Shares closed Friday at $28.11 . (END) Dow Jones Newswires 05-01-06 1255ET Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Top of page

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