EXCLUSIVE-Vintage Capital offers to buy Rent-A-Center for $800 mln -letter

NEW YORK, July 10 (Reuters) - Vintage Capital has offered to buy Rent-A-Center Inc for around $800 million, according to a letter seen by Reuters, in a move that would add another rent-to-own company to the private equity firm's portfolio.

"While there are multiple avenues we would be eager to explore...today Vintage proposes to acquire 100 percent of the common stock...in a go-private transaction for $15 per share," the firm's managing partner, Brian Kahn, wrote in a June 20 letter to the company's investment bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co .

The company's stock closed at $11.10 on Monday. Shares hit$40.31 in August 2013 and have steadily declined amid a sales and profit slump.

Vintage Capital declined to comment on the letter or the offer.

Rent-A-Center said in a statement to Reuters that Vintage Capital's proposal "significantly undervalues the company" and its strategic plan.

"These initiatives are already delivering substantial progress in key performance metrics, including improved same-store sales and reductions in delinquencies," Rent-A-Center said in the statement.

Rent-A-Center, a $609 million company based in Plano, Texas, rents out furniture and electronics and also allows customers the ability to own the products through a lease program. (Reporting by Michael Flaherty; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)