Saks Incorporated and Dickson Concepts Enter Into Strategic Investment Alliance.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 10, 2000
Saks Incorporated (NYSE:SKS) and Dickson Cyber Concepts Limited ("Dickson Cyber") are pleased to announce that they have entered into a strategic investment agreement whereby Saks Direct, the direct business unit of Saks Incorporated, and Dickson Cyber have swapped shares equal to 3% of their respective equity capital. The transaction will be effected by a straight exchange of equity with no exchange of cash.
As part of the agreement, Mr. R. Brad Martin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saks Incorporated, will be appointed to the Board of Dickson Cyber, and Dr. Dickson Poon, Group Executive Chairman of Dickson Concepts (International) and Dickson Cyber, will be appointed to the Board of Saks Direct.
In addition to their mutual equity investments, Saks Direct and Dickson Cyber will explore ways to leverage their respective businesses. Both parties are extremely excited about the business potential and synergies offered by this strategic investment agreement. By harnessing the formidable strength of Saks Fifth Avenue and the leading position of Dickson Concepts in Asia, the two companies believe that they have formed a partnership in the luxury dot.com sector that will lead major international markets. The significant visibility and presence of the two companies in major retail locations and physical shopping areas across North America and Asia will enable Dickson Cyber and Saks Direct to leverage this brandname recognition on a global basis through cyberspace.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Dickson Poon said, "We are extremely pleased to be linking up with the Saks group through this strategic investment agreement. We believe that it represents the beginning of a significant strategic alliance between our two companies which will provide us with tremendous opportunities to develop a successful global e-tailing business."
Mr. R. Brad Martin added, "Dickson Cyber Concepts and Saks Direct are ideal partners to develop and grow a successful international e-commerce business. We are delighted to join with the innovative and well-regarded Dickson organization in this very important venture. This partnership is a great opportunity to leverage and extend the Saks Fifth Avenue brand and one that will drive value creation for our company."
Each party has agreed to mutual "put" rights in the event that the other party's common stock is not publicly traded after a defined period of time. These rights give each party the ability to unwind the equity swap if their investment is not adequately liquid.
About Saks Direct
Saks Direct is a business unit of Saks Incorporated and contains the operations of Saks Fifth Avenue's catalog and Internet retail businesses. Saks Direct's catalogs - Folio and Bullock & Jones - produce annual revenues in excess of $120 million. Saks Direct's new Internet business, saksfifthavenue.com, will be launched in the summer of 2000. saksfifthavenue.com has assembled a team of over 90 persons with extensive backgrounds in merchandising, marketing, technology and operations. That team is also supported by the entire New York-based Saks Fifth Avenue organization. By extending the luxury "Saks Fifth Avenue" brand to the Internet, saksfifthavenue.com hopes to position itself as a global leader in luxury e-tailing. saksfifthavenue.com will mirror the Saks Fifth Avenue shopping experience through its outstanding merchandise selections and premier service. saksfifthavenue.com will offer fashion authority through its online offerings of high-end apparel, accessories, shoes, cosmetics, gifts, children's and related merchandise.
Saks Fifth Avenue, a part of the $6.4 billion Saks Incorporated group, operates 61 luxury department stores in the United States, with its first international store scheduled to open in 2001 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The "Saks Fifth Avenue" brand, which is legally protected in Hong Kong and worldwide, is synonymous with high-end luxury retailing. saksfifthavenue.com will benefit from the valuable vendor relationships and customer loyalty enjoyed by Saks Fifth Avenue.
About Dickson Cyber
Dickson Cyber is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dickson Concepts (International) Limited and acts as the vehicle through which Dickson Concepts undertakes initiatives in the fast-growing e-commerce and e-tailing business sectors.
With an initial investment of approximately $45 million, Dickson Cyber will be officially launching its innovative "clicks and bricks" concept, DicksonCyber.com and Dickson CyberExpress, by October 2000. DicksonCyber.com, which currently comprises six lifestyle portals, will offer consumers a wide range and depth of merchandise through the introduction of the category killer concept. The six portals that will be represented are comprised of `Entertainment World' (Music, CDs, Books, and Video), `Sports World' (Sports news and Sporting goods), `E-World' (Computers, Mobile Phones and Electronic and Audio Visual equipment), `Kiddy World' (Toys, Games and Education), `iCosmetic World' (Cosmetics, Fragrances and Skin Care), and `Fashion World' (Fashion news). The first two portals, Entertainment World and Sports World, were launched in June 2000 with the others due to be soft launched during July and August.
Dickson CyberExpress is a complementary hi-tech physical environment to be located in the Kowloon Station in Hong Kong, which will comprise the same six "worlds" as DicksonCyber.com. Its innovative design and the latest broadband technology allowing for high-speed Internet access and data transfer will create an exciting and uniquely interactive shopping experience for consumers. Dickson Cyber's holding company, Dickson Concepts, is the largest retailer (200 shops) and wholesaler of luxury goods in Asia with its own distribution/fulfillment centers in major markets such as Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.
In Southeast Asia, Dickson Concepts represents on an exclusive basis an unparalleled portfolio of world-renowned brands such as Bulgari, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, Kenneth Cole, Bertolucci, Coach, Tod's, Chopard, Charles Jourdan, Comtesse, Fratelli Rossetti, French Connection, Guy Laroche, Nicole Fahri, S.T. Dupont and Warner Bros. Studio Store. Dickson Concepts also operates two Seibu department stores in Hong Kong and one in Shenzhen, China.