How One Investor Made A Fortune Picking Over The Retail Apocalypse

by MR Magazine Staff

Fashion brand Anne Klein no longer has its own e-commerce site. Retailer Hot Topic has lost its crown jewel. Nine West Holdings, a collection of retail brands, has been stripped of valuable parts. Doing much better is the owner of these once-popular brands, Sycamore Partners, which has managed to succeed where many others have failed. It has made hundreds of millions of dollars in the struggling retail sector by investing in brick-and-mortar chains. While private-equity firms and public investors have been shying away from traditional retail, Sycamore has made bigger bets on the sector. It bought Staples Inc. in September for $6.8 billion—the largest U.S. leveraged buyout of 2017, according to Dealogic—and is raising money for a third fund. The fund has raised its target by at least $500 million to $4.5 billion, thanks to strong demand from pension funds and other institutions eager to tap Sycamore’s retail wizardry. Sycamore has disclosed little about its investment strategy or performance. Its chief is a deal-making veteran, Stefan Kaluzny, who has a policy of not talking to the media. A Sycamore spokesman declined to make him available for an interview. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.