VENATOR RAISES $90 MILLION IN EXIT OF TWO DIVISIONS
Byline: Thomas Cunningham
NEW YORK — Venator Group said Wednesday it completed an initial public offering of its Australian retail division called Colorado Group, and sold most of its Canadian general merchandise operation, Bargain! Shop.
The two transactions, which raised gross proceeds of $90 million, were part of a previously announced plan to exit eight noncore businesses.
Venator operates almost 5,000 stores in the U.S. and internationally, including Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Northern Reflections.
Venator sold the Colorado shares on the Australian stock market. In 1998, Colorado, which operates 300 footwear stores under the names Mathers For Shoes, Williams The Shoe Man, and Colorado Adventurewear, had sales of $160 million, according to a spokesman.
Venator sold 85 of the 128 Bargain! Shop stores to a group of investors including management, the company said. The spokesman declined to name the other investors in the deal, or the purchase price. However, earlier this month Venator said it expected to make $75 million from the Australian IPO, implying that the Canadian sale brought in about $15 million.
Michael Roellinghoff will be president and chief executive of the newly independent Bargain! Shop. After the holidays, Venator will close the remaining 43 Bargain! Shop stores, probably with the assistance of a liquidator, according to the spokesman.
Since Venator announced its plans to sell or liquidate the eight noncore operations in August, the retailer has sold its Afterthoughts accessories chain to Claire’s Stores, and divested 51 of its 87 Weekend Edition stores in Canada. Some of the businesses still to be trimmed include San Francisco Music Box stores, Foot Locker Outlets, and the Randy River teen apparel stores in Canada.