Bed Bath & Beyond strikes deal to sell Cost Plus World Market, steps up stock buybacks

  • Bed Bath & Beyond has struck a deal with a private equity firm to sell Cost Plus World Market.
  • The home-goods retailer is in the midst of a turnaround effort led by Mark Tritton, a Target merchandising veteran, and has divested several other brands.
  • The company said it’s also stepping up stock buybacks with approval of a $150 million share repurchase program on top of the $225 million program it announced in late October.

© Provided by CNBC Signage is displayed outside of a Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. store in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.

Bed Bath & Beyond said Monday that it will sell Cost Plus World Market as it aims to stabilize sales and focus on its core business.

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The home-goods retailer announced that it’s struck an agreement with Los Angeles-based private equity firm, Kingswood Capital Management, which will buy Cost Plus World Market. The sale includes the brand’s 243 brick-and-mortar locations, digital business, two distribution facilities and corporate office in Alameda, Calif. Bed Bath & Beyond did not disclose terms of the deal, but said it anticipates it will close before the end of the fiscal year in February 2021.

The company also said it’s stepping up stock buybacks. It said it’s approved a $150 million share repurchase program on top of the $225 million program it announced in late October. It plans to complete them by the end of February 2021. With the expanded program, it will buy back up to $825 million in shares over the next three years.

“We’ve taken deliberate steps throughout the year to streamline our portfolio and fortify our strategic focus in home, baby and beauty & wellness, and today’s announcement represents the conclusion of this work,” Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Mark Tritton said in a statement.

Shares were up less than 1% early Monday. As of market close on Friday, they were up about 11% so far this year, bringing the company’s market value to $2.4 billion.

Bed Bath & Beyond is in the midst of a turnaround effort led by Tritton, a Target merchandising veteran. The home retailer tapped the executive as its new CEO last year, hoping he could energize its strategy for its stores and e-commerce business. At Target, he shook up the look of stores, introduced private labels and helped the company strike collaborations with popular brands like Vineyard Vines and Hunter Boots.

In October, Tritton laid out a three-year roadmap to get the company back on track. He said it would shut stores that have underperformed and focus on gaining market share across key categories like home and baby. It plans to launch more than 10 private-label brands starting in the spring.

The company has divested other brands to free up capital to invest in its namesake brand, too. In early October, the home-goods retailer agreed to sell its Christmas Tree Shops, its Linen Holdings business and a distribution center in Florence, New Jersey.

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