MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 19, 2014

Jewelry retailer Zale to be sold

Buyer in $1.4B purchase runs several brands

HAMILTON, Bermuda, and DALLAS — Signet Jewelers Limited and Zale Corp. said Wednesday that they have entered into an agreement for Signet to acquire all of the issued and outstanding stock of Zale, a media release states.

The Zale’s store in Arrowhead Mall referred all questions to the company’s corporate office in Dallas.

“This transformational acquisition further diversifies our businesses and extends our international footprint, opening the door to greater growth and innovation across the enterprise,” stated Mike Barnes, Signet’s chief executive officer.

“The addition of Zale to the Signet family is consistent with our long-term growth strategy and leverages our combined operating expertise to create better choices for our customers, new opportunities for our employees, and makes us a more attractive partner to our vendors.

“In addition, it allows us to better optimize our balance sheet, creating long-term value for our shareholders.

“We are excited about the prospects for the combined company and the many opportunities that this creates for our future. I am happy to say it is our intention that Zale will continue to run under current leader CEO, Theo Killion, who would report directly to me after the transaction closes.”

The acquisition strengthens Signet’s omni-channel presence with some of the most recognizable jewelry store brands in the world, including: Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry, H. Samuel, Ernest Jones, Zale’s, and Peoples.

Signet’s offer represents a premium of 41 percent over Zale’s closing price as of Tuesday. The transaction would be valued at approximately $1.4 billion.

The acquisition is expected to be financed through bank debt, other debt financing and the securitization of a significant portion of Signet’s accounts receivable portfolio.

The transaction is subject to Zale stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

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