CHICAGO — Minneapolis retailer Dayton Hudson Corp. on Thursday added a new jewel to its department store crown, announcing that it has reached agreement to buy Marshall Field & Co. for about $1.04 billion.
"We view this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Dayton Hudson Chairman Kenneth Macke said in disclosing the agreement to purchase Field's from BAT Industries PLC, a British conglomerate. "This is a great strategic fit for us."
At a Chicago news conference, Macke said his company expects to complete the deal for Field's, which operates 24 stores in Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas, within the next two months.
He said Dayton Hudson had no immediate plans to close any Field's stores or make dramatic changes in Field's strategy, and reiterated a commitment to the ongoing renovation of Field's flagship store in Chicago's Loop.
The acquisition will be financed with a combination of internally generated funds and a mix of debt instruments, the retailer said. Dayton Hudson does not plan an equity offering.
"We will have absolutely no problem financing the deal," said Macke, who added that junk bonds would play no role in the purchase.
Thursday's announcement capped a buyout effort by a number of groups, including current Marshall Field Chairman and Chief Executive Philip Miller and a Field's management team.
Marshall Field's, one of the country's best known department store groups, was put up for sale last year by BAT as part of a restructuring.