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Jacksonville-Based Stein Mart Agrees To Private Equity Firm Buyout

Pictured: Stein Mart's corporate headquarters on the Jacksonville Southbank.
Bill Bortzfield
/
WJCT News
Stein Mart's corporate headquarters on the Jacksonville Southbank.

The Jacksonville-based Stein Mart department store chain, which has seen its stock value plummet over the past five years, has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of Kingswood Capital Management, L.P., a private equity firm.

Kingswood plans to buy all outstanding common stock of Stein Mart not owned by Jay Stein, Stein Mart’s former CEO and current chairman of the board of directors.

Stein Mart announced the deal on Friday. Stein Mart said, at 90 cents per share, the deal would represent an approximately 38% stock hike for shareholders, a profit margin based on Thursday's closing price of 65 cents a share. Following the announcement, it was trading at 88 cents a share shortly before noon on Friday.

“We believe that this transaction is in the best interest of all Stein Mart stakeholders, including our many loyal employees,” said Richard L. Sisisky, Stein Mart board member in a news release.

The deal is still subject to a shareholder vote. Stein Mart’s board is recommending shareholders vote to approve the merger agreement.

Stein Mart said it expects the deal to close within the first half of this year.

The company did not announce whether any operational changes such as layoffs, store closings or expansions are anticipated as a result of the deal.

In 2017, Stein Mart cut 10% of its Jacksonville corporate workforce, letting go 48 employees at its corporate headquarters on Jacksonville's Southbank. 

WJCT News partner the Jacksonville Daily Record estimated on Friday that with about 48 million shares outstanding, Kingswood would be paying about $29 million for Stein Mart.

Stein Mart operates nearly 300 stores, including five in Jacksonville.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.