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Saks selling Northern group to Bon-Ton

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Saks Incorporated is selling its Northern Department Store Group (NDSG) to The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. for $1.1 billion in cash plus the assumption of approximately $85 million of liabilities, including approximately $35 million in capitalized leases.

In the transaction, York, Pa.-based Bon-Ton will acquire 142 NDSG units (31 Carson Pirie Scott stores, 14 Bergner's stores, 10 Boston Store stores, 40 Herberger's stores, and 47 Younkers stores); the administrative/headquarters facilities in Milwaukee; and distribution centers in Rockford, Ill., Naperville, Ill., Green Bay, Wis., and Ankeny, Iowa.

The 142 stores being sold represent 15.1 million gross square feet and are located throughout 12 Midwestern and Great Plains states. NDSG generated 2004 revenues of approximately $2.2 billion.

Upon completion of the transaction, Bon-Ton will operate a total of 280 stores in 23 states with estimated annual net sales of $3.5 billion. The company plans to retain the various store nameplates of the acquired stores.

Michael MacDonald, chairman and CEO of NDSG, said, "Bon-Ton is a great fit for our Northern Department Store Group, both geographically and culturally."

R. Brad Martin, chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated, added, "This action is a result of a strategic alternative process announced earlier this year where the company put in place a program to carefully consider its mix of businesses and their future potential to create shareholder value.”

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