By Emmaline Harvey
TJX Cos. Inc. is selling Bobs Stores to a pair of private equity firms, Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management and Boston-based Crystal Capital. Financial terms were not revealed, but TJX reports that the sale will generate $23 million in cash proceeds, primarily from tax benefits.
TJX bought the then-bankrupt Bobs Stores for about $57 million in December 2003. Although Bobs sales improved during the past two years, the chain never turned a profit. Last year, Bobs-which operates 34 stores in the Northeast-had an operating loss of $17.4 million on sales of about $310 million.
TJX plans to focus on its core off-price concepts that include T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and A.J. Wright.
“While we continue to believe Bobs Stores has great potential and an excellent organization, our decision to sell the business reflects our vision to grow TJX as a global, off-price company,” states Carol Meyrowitz, TJX president and CEO. “Bobs Stores has made a great deal of progress in improving its comparable store sales, operating results and cash flow over the past two years. We are sincerely grateful for the hard work and commitment of the Bobs Stores team, and we wish them much future success.”