Monday, May 07, 2007

Wal-Mart buying Gottschalk's?

Rumor has it that Wal-Mart is considering buying the Gottschalk's chain of department stores. The purchase would be intended to strengthen Wal-Mart's presence in California. Gottschalk's has a total of 63 stores, most in California, but also in Nevada and the Pacific Northwest. Most are in secondary markets (e.g., Fresno) or on the outskirts of major markets (e.g., San Bernardino).
The report, citing Wall Street analysts, said the Gottschalks prospectus was sent out by UBS Investment Bank about six weeks ago and Wal-Mart was given a copy of the book.

The article said opening bids are expected by early June.

In December, Gottschalks said it hired UBS Investment Bank to help it explore available options, including a sale or merger of the company.

What I find most interesting is that there is no mention of a department store interested in buying a fair-sized department store chain.

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