Belk Department Stores Thinking Of Flirting With Suitors Like Nordstrom, Macy’s

Belk Department Stores, the largest family-owned and operated department store chain in the United States, with 300 stores in 16 states in the South, is reportedly considering hooking up with potential suitors, including Macy’s and Nordstrom.

The Charlotte-based company confirmed that it’s looking into the possibility of a sale, reports Reuters, saying it’s hired Goldman Sachs to help it look into things, including a sale, and expects the analysis to be done within the next few months.

The State reports that Belk has entered into a five-year “strategic planning process within a rapidly changing industry.”

In any case, insiders told Reuters that the deal could be worth as much as $4 billion, including debt. This year Belk is projected to have annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization this year of around $400 million, an insider cited by Reuters said.

Along with Nordstrom and Macy’s, large private equity firms are expected to be contacted by Belk to see if they’re into possibly getting hitched, those anonymous sources added.

Belk was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk, making this the third generation of family leadership. The family still owns most of the 41 million shares of stock in the company, notes the Associated Press, though it’s unclear why the family is thinking about selling now, or if they’ll hold on to some of their equity.

Department store chain Belk seeks sale: sources [Reuters]
Belk department stores weighing sale [The State]
Belk department store chain considers sale [Associated Press]