TWO DEALS BRING VENTURE $40M IN CASH
NEW YORK — Venture Stores Inc. said Friday that it will receive a $40 million cash infusion through two sale-lease back transactions that will support its repositioning program. Venture said it will benefit from below-market rents on the properties for 25 years, but did not release further terms of the deal.
The sale-lease backs are with Kimco Realty Corp. of New Hyde Park, N.Y., the nation’s largest owner of community shopping centers.
In the latest nine months ended Oct. 28, Venture lost about $35 million against a profit of $2.5 million, or 15 cents, a year earlier. Sales were up 1.8 percent to $1.34 billion from $1.32 billion. Robert N. Wildrick, president and chief executive officer, said that the transactions provide additional cash to meet inventory, merchandising and marketing needs for its transition from a discount chain to a family value department store. The strategy also calls for new displays, new shop concepts inside the stores and greater shopping ease. Wildrick added that Venture will “continue to implement expense reductions to strengthen its cash position heading into the final stages of the repositioning.” When the O’Fallon Mo.-based retailer announced its repositioning program in July, a plan was put in place that included closing ten unprofitable stores within 60 days and slashing 950 positions, freeing up about $22 million in cash.