U.S. Belk, Inc. to be acquired by Sycamore Partners
Belk, Inc., the nation’s largest family owned and operated fashion department store company, today announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby investment funds managed by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners will acquire 100% of Belk in a transaction with an estimated enterprise value at closing of approximately USD 3.0 billion. Under the terms of the merger agreement, all Belk stockholders will receive USD 68.00 per share in cash for each share of Belk common stock they own
Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive officer of Belk, Inc., said, “We are delighted to have found a financial partner that sees what we see in Belk: a 127-year-old brand that remains relevant today with exceptional customer loyalty in small, medium and large cities throughout the South. We plan to grow Belk by executing our current strategic initiatives and undertaking new growth initiatives together with Sycamore. This transaction is an across-the-board win for our stakeholders.”
Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners, said, “We have great respect for Belk’s management team and associates, its deeply rooted brand, its footprint of stores and its growing online presence. Belk is exactly the kind of investment we look for: an outstanding brand with a proven success formula and the potential for further growth.”
Under the terms of the transaction, Tim Belk will remain CEO of Belk and the company will continue to be headquartered in Charlotte.
The merger agreement was unanimously approved by Belk’s board of directors. The merger is subject to certain customary conditions, including the receipt of regulatory and stockholder approval, and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of calendar 2015.
Certain Belk stockholders have agreed to vote shares owned or controlled by them representing, in the aggregate, a majority of the voting power of Belk’s shares, in favour of the transaction.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as financial advisor and King & Spalding LLP is acting as legal advisor to Belk. Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor to Sycamore Partners.
In connection with the proposed merger, Belk, Inc. will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) and furnish to its stockholders a proxy statement and other relevant documents.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. (www.belk.com) is the nation’s largest family owned and operated department store with close to 300 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence. Its belk.com website offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. In the fiscal year ended January 31, 2015, the company and its associates, customers and vendors donated more than USD 21.5 million to communities within Belk market areas.
Sycamore Partners is a private equity firm based in New York specializing in consumer and retail investments. The firm has more than $3.5 billion in capital under management. The firm’s strategy is to partner with management teams to improve the operating profitability and strategic value of their businesses. The firm’s investment portfolio currently includes Aeropostale, Coldwater Creek, EMP Merchandising, Hot Topic, the Kasper Group, Kurt Geiger, MGF Sourcing, Nine West Holdings, Pathlight Capital, Talbots and Torrid.