Zale Announces Agreement to Sell Bailey Banks & Biddle



    DALLAS, September 27 /CNW/ - Zale Corporation (NYSE:  ZLC), a leading
specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North America today announced that it
has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Bailey Banks & Biddle
brand to Finlay Fine Jewelry Corporation for a purchase price of $200,000,000,
subject to closing adjustments.

    "Today's announcement is consistent with our strategy to focus on the
core business and increasing returns on capital. It provides an opportunity to
return a substantial amount of the proceeds to shareholders," commented Betsy
Burton, Chief Executive Officer.

    The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is
expected to be completed pre-Holiday. The Company will provide information
regarding the anticipated post-sale impact of this transaction on its future
financial results at a later date. Goldman Sachs & Co. advised Zale on this
transaction.

    Zale Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North
America operating approximately 2,250 retail locations throughout the United
States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Zale Corporation's brands include Zales
Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Gordon's Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine
Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda. Zale also
operates online at www.zales.com, www.gordonsjewelers.com and
www.baileybanksandbiddle.com. Additional information on Zale Corporation and
its brands is available at www.zalecorp.com.

    This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements
regarding the proposed sale of Bailey Banks & Biddle and the anticipated
impact on fiscal year 2008 results of operation. Forward-looking statements
are not guarantees of future performance and a variety of factors could cause
the Company's actual results to differ materially from the results expressed
in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited
to: if the general economy performs poorly, discretionary spending on goods
that are, or are perceived to be, "luxuries" may not grow and may even
decrease; the concentration of a substantial portion of the Company's sales in
three, relatively brief selling seasons means that the Company's performance
is more susceptible to disruptions; most of the Company's sales are of
products that include diamonds, precious metals and other commodities, and
fluctuations in the availability and pricing of commodities could impact the
Company's ability to obtain and produce products at favorable prices; the
Company's sales are dependent upon mall traffic; the Company operates in a
highly competitive industry; changes in regulatory requirements or in the
Company's private label credit card arrangement with Citi may increase the
cost of or adversely affect the Company's operations and its ability to
provide consumer credit and write credit insurance; acquisitions involve
special risks, including the possibility that the Company may not be able to
integrate acquisitions into its existing operations. For other factors, see
the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including
its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2006. The
Company disclaims any obligation to update or revise publicly or otherwise any
forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events, new information or
future circumstances.




For further information:

For further information: Zale Corporation David H. Sternblitz,
972-580-5047 Vice President and Treasurer

Organization Profile

ZALE CORPORATION

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890