UPDATE 1-Elektra to acquire Advance America for about $656 mln

Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:02pm EST

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Mexican company Grupo Elektra is buying Advance America, the largest U.S. payday lender, for about $656 million in cash, marking Elektra's first investment in the U.S. financial services market.

The total deal value is about $780 million, inclusive of debt, Elektra said in a statement.

Elektra, owned by billionaire television magnate Ricardo Salinas, will pay $10.50 per share, which represents a 32.7 percent premium on Advance America's $7.91 closing price on Feb. 15.

Advance America had 62.44 million shares outstanding, as per Reuters data. The equity portion of the deal - $655.6 million - was derived based on the shares outstanding data.

Shares in Elektra, which offers Mexico's poor loans for washing machines and other consumer items, surged 165 percent in 2011 to record the biggest gains by any stock in Mexico, Argentina or Brazil.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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