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Whitehall buys certain assets of Friedman's & Crescent

14
Apr '08
Whitehall Jewelers Holdings Inc, a leading national specialty retailer of fine jewelry, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Whitehall Jewelers Inc has acquired certain assets of, and has assumed certain leases from, Friedman's Inc and Crescent Jewelers (collectively, Friedman's) for approximately $14.3 million.

Whitehall is acquiring the inventory, prepaid assets, deposits and other tangible property related to 78 Friedman's stores and plans to continue to operate substantially all of these retail locations as either Whitehall or Lundstrom stores. Whitehall may additionally acquire certain consignment goods currently held for sale by Friedman's, subject to obtaining certain consents.

Edward Dayoob, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Whitehall, commented, “We are very pleased to have capitalized on this opportunity, which fits well into a corporate strategy that includes growing the business through acquisitions.

The acquisition of these assets considerably increases the number of jewelry stores that we will operate and will increase our market share. It also will allow us to strengthen our current Whitehall operations as well as leverage our management team and existing infrastructure, which we expect will result in a more competitive company overall.”

The purchase price, which is subject to adjustment after a physical inventory is completed by a third party, was equal to 63% of the aggregate cost value of the inventory. Whitehall paid 67% of the purchase price at closing, and has delivered an irrevocable standby letter of credit to Friedman's to secure its obligation to pay the balance.


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