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Sycamore Partners to Buy Belk Department Stores for $3 Billion

Belk, Inc., the nation’s largest family-owned department store chain will soon be wholly acquired by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners for roughly $3 billion.

Reuters broke news of the rumored deal last month, but the North Carolina-based retailer announced that it hired Goldman Sachs back in April to weigh its options and explore a possible sale.

Under the now definitive merger agreement, Belk stockholders will receive $68 in cash for each share of the company’s common stock they own.

Tim Belk, who is and will remain Belk’s CEO, 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.”

The agreement has already been unanimously approved by Belk’s board of directors and is now subject to customary conditions like regulatory and stockholder approval, all of which is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2015.

Sycamore Partners specializes in retail, with existing investments in brands like Aeropostale, Coldwater Creek, Talbots and Nine West Holdings.