FL-based The Sports Authority (TSA) will be bought by
     Woolworth Corp. for $761M in stock and assumed debt in a move
     "that could revive the 202-store chain's prospects for
     growth," according to Tom Stieghorst of the Fort Lauderdale
     SUN-SENTINEL.  As part of the stock swap, Woolworth will pay
     0.8 of its shares for each TSA share, and at Woolworth's
     closing price of $23 yesterday, the 0.8 share is valued at
     $18.40, just above TSA's closing yesterday of $18.  Woolworth
     valued the stock swap at $582M and will assume $179M in debt. 
     TSA's management team will be retained and its headquarters
     will stay in South FL.  Marty Hanaka will become CEO of TSA,
     meaning a "reduced role" for TSA Founder & Chair Jack Smith.
     Stieghorst adds that Woolworth "is unlikely" to alter TSA's
     plan to open 31 stores this year (SUN-SENTINEL, 5/8).
          MORE CONSOLIDATION: Despite the recent weakness in sales
     of sporting shoes and apparel, Woolworth Chair Roger Farah
     said, "we believe the right time to put the business together
     is during the tough times" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/8).  In
     N.Y., Kenneth Li reports that the deal "is a big boost" to
     Woolworth's athletic retail operations.  Woolworth currently
     operates 7,200 Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Champs Sports
     and other athletic shops worldwide (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/8).  

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Finance, The Sports Authority

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