REAL ESTATE

Saks Break-up May Be in Works

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Shares of Saks Inc. jumped today on media reports and market speculation that it was looking into breaking up its businesses. Saks is rumored to be considering the separation of its upscale Saks Fifth Avenue stores from its moderate department store division. Women Wear’s Daily reported today that the company is looking for buyers for the 235-unit group, with Belk Inc. as a leading suitor.

The paper said Dillard’s, Bon-Ton Stores, J.C. Penney and Sears Holding Corp., as well as the private equity firms Blackstone Group and Apollo Advisors, might also be interested.

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REAL ESTATE

Disney Store Expands to Outlet Arena

BY CSA STAFF

Glendale, Calif., Disney Store North America, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Children’s Place Retail Stores, will expand into the retail outlet arena. Its first outlet will measure more than 7,000 sq. ft. and will open in New York this weekend at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. Five additional outlets are planned to open this year in California, Arizona, Illinois, Tennessee and Ontario, Canada. The move marks the first adjustment to Disney Store’s real estate strategy since The Children’s Place acquired the chain in November.

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REAL ESTATE

Vornado Supports Kmart Acquisition of Sears

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Vornado Realty Trust announced it would back Kmart Holdings Corp. in its proposed acquisition of Sears Roebuck & Co. Vornado, currently holding 1.18 million shares of Sears stock and a derivative position for another 7.9 million shares, said it would elect to receive stock in the new merger.

Paramus, N.J.-based Vornado raised eyebrows in the investment community last November when, shortly before the proposed acquisition was announced, it revealed that it had boosted its holdings in Sears to 4.3%. The announcement triggered speculation that Vornado was planning to redevelop some of Sears’ real estate, much of which is leased at below-market rates.

Sears’ shares have consistently traded higher since the merger was announced in November on the hopes that Vornado might team with a rival retailer to make a competing bid. Any spoiler would be forced to absorb $400 million in break-up fees, part of the Sears-Kmart agreement.

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