Thursday, July 5, 2007

Barneys New York Sold for $825 Million

Barneys New York, the 84-year-old luxury department store chain famous for its clever window displays and cutting-edge designer goods, was sold for $825 million on Friday, June 22, to Istithmar, a private equity and alternative investment house established three years ago and is owned by the government of Dubai.

Jones Apparel Group bought Barneys in 2004 for $397.3 million. They subsequently opened new flagship stores in Dallas and Boston with a Seattle store opening this week and a San Francicsco store scheduled to open September 2007.

Jones Apparel also expanded the Co-op store branch of the business, a smaller scale store specializing in up-and-coming designer labels such as 3.1 Philip Lim and diffusion lines like Marc by Marc Jacobs.

"This transaction further enhances our ability to develop our brand and grow our business," said Howard Socol, president and CEO of Barneys in a statement. "Working with Istithmar, we look forward to continued expansion of our flagship, CO-OP and outlet concepts to help us realize the considerable untapped potential of the Barneys brand."

Under the terms of the agreement with Istithmar, Jones Apparel could still entertain a higher bid from a third party until July 22.

Originally, the entire group, which includes brands such as Jones New York, Nine West, Anne Klein, Evan-Picone, Easy Spirit, Enzo Angiolini and Gloria Vanderbuilt among others, was up for sale.

With the sale of Barneys to an international investor such as Istithmar – they have spent in excess of $1.6 billion of capital towards over 30 companies in the three years since its inception – expansion to Europe and the Middle East seems a likely next step.

Founded in 1923, Barneys started as a small discount men's store on 17th Street in New York City.

The Story

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