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Saks selling Parisian division to Belk

Birmingham, Ala. – Saks Inc. said it has reached a definitive agreement to sell its Parisian specialty department store business to Belk, Inc. for $285 million in cash.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk will acquire 38 Parisian stores, the 125,000-square-foot headquarters here, and a 180,000-square-foot distribution center in Steele , Ala. A Southeastern and Midwestern chain, Parisian generated 2005 revenues of about $723 million.

Belk acquired the Proffitt's/McRae's division of Saks in July 2005 for $623 million. Saks Inc. ceo Steve Sadove said, "The sale of our Parisian business is the next appropriate step in this process and one that will allow us to focus our time and resources on improving the operations of our core Saks Fifth Avenue business.”

Earlier this year, Saks sold its Northern Department Store Group (NDSG) to Bon-Ton for $1.185 billion. "Upon completion of this transaction, the Company will have generated nearly $2.0 billion in cash from the sales of Proffitt's/McRae's, NDSG, and Parisian,” Sadove said.

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