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For week ended December 19, 1999 Posted 18 Dec 1999

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LDS Church Held Up Sale of Struggling ZCMI

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 January.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information