August 7, 2016 / 6:03 PM / a year ago

Mattress Firm in talks with Steinhoff International -FT

Aug 7 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Steinhoff International is nearing a deal to buy Mattress Firm Holding Corp the largest specialty bedding retailer in the U.S. according to a report in the Financial Times on Sunday.

The report said the firms were in talks and a deal could be announced as soon as Monday. The paper, citing unamed sources, said the deal could value Mattress Firm at more than $4 billion including outstanding debt.

Mattress Firm closed trading on Friday with a market value of $1.12 billion and net debt of almost $1.5 billion.

The talks could still unravel as terms were not finalized, the paper said.

A call to Mattress Firm was not immediatley returned. Steinhoff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mattress Firm, founded in 1986, has approximately 3,500 stores across 48 states with 80 distribution centers.

Steinhoff is a German-listed $22 billion furniture conglomerate led by South African retail mogul Christo Wiese who is also Steinhoff’s chairman and largest shareholder.

Steinhoff owns brands in Africa, Australia the U.K. and across Europe and last month agreed to pay nearly $800 million for British-based discount chain Poundland after two previous attempts to expand in Europe fell through this year.

In February, Mattress Firm solidified its position as a leader in the U.S. mattress retail market when it completed its $780 million acquisition of HMK Mattress Holdings LLC, the holding company of Sleepy‘s. Sleepy’s was the second largest specialty mattress retailer in the U.S. with over 1,050 stores in 17 states in the Northeast, New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Illinois. (Reporting by Mike Stone in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

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