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EDEN PRAIRIE, MN-Golf Galaxy has moved a step nearer to closing its deal to acquisition by Dick’s Sporting Goods. The company has been granted early termination of the waiting period for mergers and acquisitions under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act.

The pending acquisition of Golf Galaxy hinges on an acquisition agreement withDick’s Sporting Goods Inc. under which each outstanding share of Golf Galaxy common stock will be converted into the right to receive $18.82 per share in cash, without interest.The deal, which is expected to be completed in February, still needs to meet a number of other conditions, among them the approval of the transaction by Golf Galaxy’s shareholders.

As a specialty retailer operating 65 stores in 24 states, along with ecommerce websites and catalog operations, Golf Galaxy reported a loss of $3.4 million in late November when it filed its most recent quarterly earnings statement with the SEC. The loss, which worked out to 31 cents per diluted share, came on net sales for the third quarter that increased 45.1% to $46.1 million compared with figures for the same period of the previous fiscal year.

As Golf Galaxy noted in its SEC filing, however, the company typically reports net loss in its fiscal third quarter, its lowest volume period due to a seasonal slowing in the golf industry. The third quarter results also included acquisition-related costs of $944,000, or about nine cents per diluted share, associated with the pending acquisition by Dick’s.

In light of its plans to be acquired by Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy officials reaffirmed plans to open 16 to 18 new stores in fiscal 2008, as described recently in a GlobeSt.com report on the company’s third-quarter financial results conference call. The company said that it was especially interested in opening in warm-weather locales, citing places like California, Arizona and Florida.

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