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New York equity firm plans to acquire Belk for $3B

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Staff Report
Published Aug. 24, 2015

New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners announced today that it will acquire Belk Inc., which operates three department stores in the Columbia area, for about $3 billion.

Belk in Rock Hill South Carolina
Sycamore Partners has acquired Belk for about $3 billion, the New-York based private equity firm said Monday. (Photo/Provided)
Under the terms of the merger agreement, all Belk stockholders will receive $68.00 per share in cash for each share of Belk common stock they own.

"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, said Tim Belk, chairman and CEO of Belk. “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 Belk “is exactly the kind of investment we look for: an outstanding brand with a proven success formula and the potential for further growth."

Headquartered in Charlotte, Belk is the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company with close to 300 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states.

The company has three dozen stores in South Carolina and operates a distribution center in Union County that serves its growing ecommerce unit.

In April 2014, Belk announced plans to invest $47 million and add more than 345,000 square feet of newly constructed space to the 515,000-square-foot facility in Jonesville.

A staple in the Columbia retail scene since 1930, Belk recently invested $6.1 million in renovating and expanding its Columbiana Centre location, moving its entire men’s department to a 50,000-square-foot area in the mall’s former Sears building.

Belk also has stores in the Village at Sandhill in Northeast Columbia and Richland Mall in Forest Acres.

Under the terms of the transaction, Tim Belk will remain CEO of Belk and the company will continue to be headquartered in Charlotte.

Company officials expect to close on the deal in the fourth quarter.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as financial advisor and King & Spalding LLP is acting as legal advisor to Belk. BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal advisor to Sycamore Partners.

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