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COPPELL, TX-Private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners has closed on its acquisition of a majority stake of the 40-unit Container Store chain for an undisclosed amount. With the closing of the acquisition, employees are now the owners of the minority share of the company.

The chain’s sales this year are expected by executives to reach $600 million. Management is opening its first Philadelphia-area store this year, in Cherry Hill, NJ; and six new units are planned for 2008.

The Container Store’s management first made it public in February that it was looking for a private-equity buyer. The Leonard Green deal was announced last month.

Los Angeles-based Leonard Green is a major private-equity player in the retail industry. The firm has invested in such chains as Neiman Marcus, Petco and Sports Authority.

Leonard Green is keeping on the Container Store’s management team. Three of the company’s six board members are Container Store executives, while the other three are from Leonard Green. Garrett Boone, the retailer’s former co-chairman, has sold all of his shares in the chain, and he now retains the title of chairman emeritus.

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