Zale Shareholders Approve Sale to Signet

Will this engagement be marked by a Celebration Diamond or a Leo?

Despite vocal opposition by a group of dissident investors, Zale shareholders approved the acquisition by its longtime rival Signet on May 29.

Zale did not respond to requests for comment at press time, but Signet sent out a release that said it has “completed the acquistion.” 

The release said that Mark Light, longtime president and CEO of Signet’s American division Sterling, will now become president and chief operating officer of Signet Jewelers Limited, meaning he now oversees its U.K. division.

Theo Killion, CEO of Zale, will remain in that role, with Zale being considered a separate division under the Signet umbrella. He will also become president of that division and report to Signet CEO Michael Barnes.

Drew Figdor, portfolio manager for TIG Advisors, which had rallied opposition to the deal, told the Dallas Morning News he was disappointed.  

“We thought we made a good case that Zale is going to grow,” he said. “The turnaround story was working.”

Despite a lot of hubbub prior to the vote, the News reported the meeting was sparsely attended, with mostly lawyers and shareholder reps present.

JCK News Director