According to an article in the New York Times‘ DealBook, the owners of the Neiman Marcus luxury retail chain agreed on Monday to sell it to a group led by Ares Management and a Canadian pension plan, in a deal worth $6 billion.
The owners, a group of private equity investors led by TPG and Warburg Pincus, had been searching for a buyer for Neiman ahead of a planned initial public offering later in the year. If they had not found a buyer willing to pay the desired $6 billion, they were prepared to go ahead with the public offering, people briefed on the deal said to the Times.
The deal is the latest transaction in the luxury department store sector. Earlier this year, Hudson Bay, the largest Canadian department store, paid $2.4 billion for Saks, a competitor to Neiman.
Neiman Marcus operates 79 stores across the country, including two Bergdorf Goodman stores in Manhattan, and the Last Call outlet stores. Sales have rebounded in recent years. The company reported $4.3 billion in revenue last year, compared with $3.6 billion in 2009.
Ares, one of Neiman’s new owners, has experience in the consumer sector, with previous investments in General Nutrition Centers, House of Blues and the mattress companies Serta and Simmons. An asset manager based in Los Angeles, Ares has about $66 billion under management.
Ares and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will hold equal stakes in the company, with Neiman Marcus management retaining a minority stake. The buyers said they expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter, according to the article.