MIAMI-ACE Cash Express Inc. has sold 19 of its South Florida stores for approximately $1.75 million to local competitor CCS Financial Services Inc., doing business as The Check Cashing Store, which is based in Fort Lauderdale. The stores sold, located in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, total approximately 28,500 sf, based on the average ACE Cash Express store size of 1,500 sf. The sale was finalized Nov. 22.

During the second quarter of fiscal 2003, which ends Dec. 31, ACE Cash Express will record a pre-tax gain of about $900,000 from the deal. However, the gain will be largely offset by costs associated with discontinuing the GNB loan product. The company expects to complete this by the end of the quarter.

ACE Cash Express plans to use proceeds from the sale to open stores in other markets, to reduce term indebtedness to bank lenders, and for general working capital purposes. “We believe that this particular sale makes sense for both companies and is a good economic deal for ACE, as 14 of the 19 stores were well below our expected profitability per store and therefore did not meet our return expectations,” says Jay B. Shipowitz, the company’s president and chief operating officer.

ACE Cash Express, based in Irving, TX, is a large check-cashing chain and provider of related retail financial services.

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