Note from Steve: You heard it here first
CHARLOTTE - Belk Inc. on Wednesday said it was buying Saks Inc.'s 38 Parisian department stores with locations in nine states in the Southeast and Midwest.
The Charlotte-based department store chain said it will pay $285 million for the ownership of the Parisian stores and will assume operating leases for leased locations. The stores had combined total sales last year of about $723 million. The deal, which has been approved by both boards of directors, is set to close Oct. 2, pending regulatory review.
Upon completion of the transaction, Belk will operate a total of 315 stores in 19 states, including two new Parisian stores set to open this fall.
"This is another excellent opportunity for Belk to expand its store base and further strengthen our market leadership in Alabama and other key markets within our existing footprint," said Tim Belk, chairman and CEO of the chain, said in a statement.
The department store plans to rebrand the acquired stores as Belk in the third quarter of 2007. The company will continue to operate the Parisian corporate offices and a distribution center through March 2007. Employees in those locations will be offered positions with Belk or severance packages.
Last year, Belk bought 47 Proffitt's and McRae's department stores from Saks and later branded 38 of them as Belk stores.
Wachovia Securities, the investment banking unit of Charlotte-based Wachovia Corp., advised Belk on the Parisian transaction.