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Zale to Sell Bailey Banks & Biddle

Dallas, Zale Corp. confirmed late Wednesday that it is selling its high-end jewelry chain Bailey Banks & Biddle to Finlay Enterprises for $200 million.

According to the company, the sale signifies a major step in the new management’s strategy to focus on its core middle-market brands.

“Today's announcement is consistent with our strategy to focus on the core business and increasing returns on capital,” said Zale CEO Betsy Burton in a prepared statement. “It provides an opportunity to return a substantial amount of the proceeds to shareholders.”

Zale's board hired Goldman Sachs earlier this year to evaluate strategic alternatives. The firm advised Zale on the transaction, which is expected to close by late October.

Last year, Zale closed about 30 underperforming Bailey Banks & Biddle stores, leaving 70 locations.

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