CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Belk, a Charlotte-based retail store chain will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to its majority owner, Sycamore Partners.
Belk will continue operating as normal under majority control from Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm, along with holders of more than 75% of its first-lien term loan debt, and 100% of its second-lien term loan debt.
The company expects the financial transaction to be complete by the end of February.
“We’re confident that this agreement puts us on the right long-term path toward significantly reducing our debt and providing us with greater financial flexibility to meet our obligations and to continue investing in our business,” Belk CEO Lisa Harper said in a statement.
Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows stores to stay open while they court approval of a plan to exit bankruptcy.
There are several Belk stores in eastern Virginia and eastern North Carolina, according to Belk’s store directory. In Virginia, there are stores in Williamsburg, Franklin, Suffolk and more.
In eastern North Carolina, there stores in Ahoskie, the Outer Banks and Elizabeth City.
The plan for Belk is to recapitalize the business and reduce debt by approximately $450 million and extend maturities on all loans by July 2025.
The company says they have received financing commitments for $225 million in new capitol from Sycamore, KKR and Blackstone, along with certain existing first-lien term lenders.
Belk first opened in 1888 and now has nearly 300 locations in 16 states.
The store also released a statement on Twitter:
“Please do not worry, we can assure you our Belk stores are here to stay and do not intend to close. Thank you for choosing Belk. Have a lovely day!“