Fanatics buying Dreams for about $158 million

PLANTATION, Fla. (AP) -- Online sports product licenser Fanatics will spend about $158 to acquire Dreams Inc., sending shares of the former competitor up 30 percent in early trading.

The transaction also includes $25 million in outstanding debt, the companies said Monday.

Fanatics Inc. will pay $3.45 per share, a 32 percent premium to Dreams' Friday closing price of $2.61 per share.

Shares of Dreams soared 79 cents to $3.40, a 52-week high.

"The addition of Dreams will enable Fanatics to accelerate our investments in product assortment, mobile and e-commerce technology, and a regional fulfillment infrastructure to better serve our customers and our partners," Fanatics CEO Alan Trager said.

Dreams' board approved the buyout unanimously. The deal still needs shareholder and regulators to sign off.

President and CEO Ross Tannenbaum, Chairman Sam Battistone and other stockholders that collectively own about 35 percent of Dreams' outstanding stock have agreed to vote in favor of the proposed deal.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter.

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