Stein Mart announces agreement to become private company

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Stein Mart, Inc. has entered into a deal making it a privately held company, and its common stock will no longer be listed or traded on any public stock market.

The retailer, which is based in Jacksonville, said Kingswood Capital Management L.P. agreed to purchase all shares not controlled by Jay Stein, the company’s chairman. Stein controlled 32% of the company’s shares, according to a news release.

The agreement states that an entity, which is controlled by Stein, will continue to own about one-third of the company.

"We believe that this transaction is in the best interest of all Stein Mart stakeholders, including our many loyal employees,” Richard L. Sisisky, Stein Mart Board member and Chairman of the Special Committee, said in a news release.

As reported by the Jacksonville Daily Record, the company’s stock price has struggled as the company has fought to increase its sales. An affiliate of Kingswood will pay 90 cents a share to buy the other shares, which closed Jan. 30 at 65 cents. The stock hasn’t closed above $1 since May.

Stein Mart opened its first Jacksonville store in 1983 and moved its headquarters to the city in 1984. It has about 375 employees in the corporate office, the Daily Record reported.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2020 and is subject to approval by Stein Mart shareholders and other customary closing conditions.