Belk Inc., the 127-year-old department-store chain concentrated in the southern U.S., agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Sycamore Partners for about $2.7 billion in cash.
Belk investors will receive $68 per share, with the transaction valuing the retailer at about $3 billion on an enterprise basis, the companies said in a statement on Monday. Under the terms of the deal, Tim Belk will stay chief executive officer of the department-store chain and it will keep its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Sycamore, based in New York, has a strategy of investing in retail companies and trying to reinvigorate them. The firm, started in 2011 by two executives from Golden Gate Capital, purchased Hot Topic Inc. for about $533.5 million in 2013 and was in talks to buy Billabong International Ltd. before discussions broke off. The firm, which oversees more than $3.5 billion in capital, also purchased Talbots Inc. in 2012.
“Belk is exactly the kind of investment we look for: an outstanding brand with a proven success formula and the potential for further growth,” Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore Partners, said in the statement.
Belk has almost 300 locations in 16 Southern states and is pushing deeper into e-commerce. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, North Carolina.