Saks Incorporated has completed the sale of Parisian to Belk, Inc. for a total purchase price of approximately $285 million in cash.
Belks acquisition of Parisian was effective midnight on September 30, 2006. The acquisition included Parisians operations consisting of real and personal property, operating leases, and inventory associated with 38 Parisian stores, a 125,000 square foot administrative/headquarters facility in Birmingham, Alabama, and a 180,000 square foot distribution center located in Steele, Alabama. Management estimates that the transaction will essentially be break even on both a book and tax basis. These estimates are preliminary and subject to change.
Stephen I. Sadove, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, noted, “This transaction concludes the value-creating disposition of our department store businesses. Over the last 15 months, we have generated approximately $2.0 billion in cash from the sales of Proffitts/McRaes, 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.
“We are excited about the future of our Company and believe we are executing the strategies necessary to meaningfully improve the operating performance of Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises.”