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PLANO, TX-Rent-A-Center is paying $567 million, or $10.65 per share, for competitor Rent-Way. The deal gives Rent-A-Center 784 stores in 34 states on top of the 2,750 units it currently operates.

Locally based Rent-A-Center will fund the deal by increasing its senior credit facility by about $600 million. The parties expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter, pending shareholder and regulatory approval.

Rent-A-Center executives say they do not expect to close a significant number of Rent-Ways as a result of the transaction. “I don’t anticipate it to be a very large number at all,” said Mark Speese, Rent-A-Center’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We don’t see the need to consolidate as many as you may think.”

Management expects a six-month transition period to take place after the acquisition is completed. This is also not the first deal between the two companies. In 2003 Rent-A-Center bought 295 units of Eerie, PA-based Rent-Way for $100.4 million.

Rent-Way stores have produced same-store sales increases for the last 11 out of 12 months. The rent-to-own chain posted a 4.1% same-store sales hike during its latest quarter, which ended June 30. Total revenues came in a $135.4 million, up 5.9%.

Just last month, Rent-Way executives responded to rumors of the sale saying they had no comment. Citigroup Global Markets advised them in the transaction with Rent-A-Center, which was advised by Bear, Stearns & Co.

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