Belk, Inc., the nation's largest family owned and operated fashion department store company, announced this week that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sycamore will acquire 100% of Belk for $3 billion. All Belk stockholders will receive $68.00 per share in cash for each share of Belk common stock they own.
Belk, based in Charlotte, NC, currently operates close to 300 brick-and-mortar stores in 16 Southern states, along with a growing digital presence.
In a statement, 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 deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Sycamore's current investment portfolio includes numerous other retail companies including Aeropostale, Coldwater Creek, EMP Merchandising, Hot Topic, the Kasper Group, Kurt Geiger, MGF Sourcing, Nine West Holdings, Pathlight Capital, Talbots and Torrid.