Regis Corp., making progress toward its goal of selling corporate-owned salons, announced a deal with Yellowhammer Salon Group to take over 121 SmartStyle locations.

Terms of the deal were not released.

Yellowhammer, based in Birmingham, Ala., became a Regis franchisee in 2016 and now operates 136 salons across Southern states from Florida to Louisiana.

"Expanding relationships with strong franchisees … are enabling us to execute our multiyear strategic transformation to an asset-light franchise portfolio that [we] believe will prove to be in the best long-term interests of our shareholders," Hugh Sawyer, president and CEO of Regis, said on Thursday.

There are more than 2,000 SmartStyle salons in the U.S. and Canada. They are located inside Walmart Supercenters.

Regis, based in Edina, also runs Supercuts, Cost Cutters, First Choice Haircutters and Roosters as well as its namesake salons.

The company announced in August that it would fully transition to a franchise business model and planned to sell 3,100 more salons.

At the time, more than half of its portfolio was franchises.

The transition will tighten margins in the short term, Sawyer said, but the company should be more profitable in the long run because of the change.

Regis shares rose 1% to close Thursday at $16.44.

Catherine Roberts • 612-673-4292