Charlotte, N.C. — Charlotte-based Belk, Inc., the nation's largest family owned and operated fashion department store company, has entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby investment funds managed by New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners will acquire 100 percent of Belk in a $3 billion transaction.
"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,” says 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."
Under the terms of the transaction, Tim Belk will remain CEO of Belk and the company will continue to be headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.
The merger, which was unanimously approved by Belk's board of directors, is expected to be completed by fourth quarter 2015.
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.
Belk, Inc. has close to 300 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership.
Sycamore Partners is a private equity firm based in New York specializing in consumer and retail investments. 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.
SOURCE: Belk, Inc.