Alberto-Culver Company, Melrose Park, IL, announced its plans to combine its Sally Beauty stores and Beauty Systems Group with Minneapolis-based Regis, which operates almost 11,000 beauty salons. Shareholders of Alberto-Culver will own a majority of the new company under the Regis name, as well as receive 0.6 Regis shares for each Alberto-Culver share. In addition to their new Regis shares, Alberto Culver shareholders will collect a one-time dividend of $3 a share. The dividend will be funded through $400 million of debt that will be transferred to Regis when the deal closes. The companies said that the deal will allow Alberto-Culver to focus more on its well-known consumer brand and enable Regis to sell beauty products carried in Sally stores to salon patrons. Once the agreement is complete, the combined firm’s board will comprise four representatives of Regis, four of Alberto Culver and two independent directors. Regis chief executive officer Paul Finkelstein will remain its chief executive officer. Howard Bernick will resign as president and chief executive officer of Alberto-Culver and become non-executive chairman of Regis, while Sally Beauty president Gary Winterhalter will assume that post at Regis.