Barneys Bids Nearing a Billion

by MR Magazine Staff

NEW YORK – The bidding over Jones Apparel Group’s Barneys New York chain of luxury department stores is getting hotter, with Dubai-based Istithmar, an investment group that seemed to have a lock on the acquisition, raising its bid to match Japan’s Fast Retailing Co., and Fast Retailing countering with a new $950 million offer.

Fast Retailing Co., the Japanese company that operates the casual clothing retailer Uniqlo, made a $900 million cash offer for Barneys New York last month, beating Istithmar’s $825 million June offer, which Jones had agreed to. The deal between Jones and Istithmar dictated that any offers after July 22 could not be taken without a $22.7 million fee paid to the Dubai group.

Jones Apparel released a statement yesterday saying that Istithmar has two days to make a matching offer.

Barneys has stores in New York, Beverly Hills, Boston, Chestnut Hill, Mass., Chicago, Dallas, and Seattle. A San Francisco location is scheduled to open in September 2007.