NEW YORK — Saks Inc. said Friday that it increased its previously announced tender offers on $658 million worth of debt.

Saks said it was increasing the purchase price of three notes from $990 per $1,000 principal amount to $1,000 per $1,000 principal amount. Included in the increased offer were notes for $250 million due 2010, $208.1 million due 2013 and $200 million due 2019.

June 20, the company announced its intention to repurchase three debt notes and make an additional consent solicitation offer for three other notes, which totaled $1.2 billion. All other terms and conditions of the original tender offers and consent solicitations will stay the same, the company said in a statement.

The buyback of debt should ease concerns over the retailer’s debt load and cash position, which were scrutinized following a notice of default on a portion of its debt earlier this month. Saks received the notice after saying it would file its annual report late, which is due to an internal investigation of improper markdown allowances.

The company reiterated in several statements that it has the money to repay its debt load should a notice of default turn into a “default event” and it is forced into paying its entire debt load.

This story first appeared in the June 27, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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