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Blockbuster deal: Sycamore Partners buys Belk for $3 billion


Charlotte, N.C. -- Private equity firm Sycamore Partners is adding a department store to its growing portfolio.

Belk, the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company, on Monday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be 100% acquired by Sycamore Partners in a transaction with an estimated value of approximately $3 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, all Belk stockholders will receive $68 a share in cash for each share of Belk common stock they own. Chairman and CEO Tim Belk will remain chief executive and the company, which operates close to 300 stores in 16 Southern states, will continue to be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"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 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."

Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk, the company is in the third generation of Belk family ownership.

In its most recently completed fiscal year, ended Jan. 31 2015, Belk had revenue of $4.1 billion, up 1.8% over the previous year.

The merger was unanimously approved by Belk's board of directors. The deal is subject to certain customary conditions, including the receipt of regulatory and stockholder approval, and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of calendar 2015.

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