Saks owner to buy luxury retailer Neiman Marcus in $2.65-billion deal

(Reuters) -Saks Fifth Avenue parent HBC will acquire department-store chain Neiman Marcus in a $2.65-billion deal, the companies said on Thursday, giving them stronger negotiating power with vendors and greater ability to control costs.

The deal comes with luxury retailers battling slowing demand as high interest rates and inflation force customers to crimp budgets, following a luxury retail boom after the pandemic.

HBC said it will establish Saks Global, a combined entity of Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and other luxury retail and real estate assets.

Neiman filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020 after the pandemic forced the closing of Neiman and other stores across the United States, crushing the company’s revenues.

Neiman Marcus is known for selling designer dresses, shoes, handbags and other luxury products, catering to wealthy customers.

Reuters had reported on Wednesday that HBC agreed to buy Neiman Marcus.

Marc Metrick, CEO of the e-commerce Saks business, will run the combined company.

Saks Global as a combined entity will compete with Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, which is reportedly in talks to sell itself to Arkhouse Management and Brigade Capital Management for about $6.9 billion.

HBC and Neiman said online retailer and customer relationship management software provider Salesforce will also be investors in Saks Global, providing technology, logistics and assistance with the integration of artificial intelligence.

Existing HBC investor Rhone Capital, a private-equity firm, will be the lead investor in Saks Global.

HBC is financing the deal with funds raised from new and existing shareholders and debt. Private-equity firm Apollo Global Management is providing $1.15 billion in debt financing.

The Saks owner has also secured $2 billion in debt financing from a syndicate of Wall Street banks.

JPMorgan and Lazard served as the financial advisers to Neiman Marcus Group in the deal.

(Reporting by Arasu Kannagi Basil and Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao and Rod Nickel)


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