Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Church Held Up Sale of Struggling ZCMI
Salt Lake Tribune 16Dec99 B3
By Phil Sahm: Salt Lake Tribune
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Documents filed with the U. S. Securities and
Exchange Commission reveal that the LDS Church prevented the sale of
ZCMI department stores, of which it owne more than half, until this
past summer. Several chains had approached ZCMI multiple times at
least since 1995. The documents were filed with the SEC because ZCMI
was a publically-traded company, of which a trust owned by the LDS
Church was the majority shareholder.
ZCMI's situation became critical this year as the chain lost $14
million in 18 months. Still, in spite of the losses, ZCMI was a hot
property because it was one of the last high-quality regional chains
available in the U.S. The chain also had a dominant position in its
principal market, Utah.
Both Federated Department Stores, the nation's largest chain, and May
Department Stores bid on the chain in September, after the LDS Church
had finally agreed to consider selling the chain on July 13th. ZCMI
then hired investment bankers Donaldson, Lufkin &Jenrette Securities
to contact potential bidders and handle the sale.
The Federal Trade Commission ended its review of the buyout of ZCMI
on November 5th, and shareholders are expected to vote on the deal in