Saks Closes Sale of Parisian Stores

The sale of the 38-store chain to Belk raises close to $300 million.
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Saks (SKS) said Monday it closed the sale of its Parisian stores to Belk for about $285 million in cash.

The deal included Parisian's operating leases and inventory from 38 Parisian stores (located in the Southeast and Midwest), a 125,000-square foot administrative/headquarters facility in Birmingham, Ala., and a 180,000-square foot distribution center in Steele, Ala.

Belk, based in Charlotte, N.C., is the largest privately owned department store company in the U.S., with 276 stores.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based Saks estimates that the transaction will essentially be break-even on both a book and tax basis.

"This transaction concludes the value-creating disposition of our department store businesses," the company said in a statement. "Over the last 15 months, we have generated approximately $2.0 billion in cash from the sales of Proffitt's/McRae's, the Northern Department Store Group, and Parisian, allowing us to pay a $4 per share special cash dividend totaling nearly $550 million, to purchase approximately $225 million in common stock, and to reduce indebtedness by over $600 million.

"We currently have approximately $750 million of invested cash, and we intend to distribute a substantial portion of this cash to our shareholders in the form of share repurchases, another special cash dividend, or a combination of the two."

Shares of Saks closed down 17 cents to $17.11 Monday.

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