The owners of Neiman Marcus are in discussions to sell the luxury retailer to a group led by Ares Management and a Canadian pension plan for about $ 6 billion, a person briefed on the matter said on Sunday.
Talks between the Ares-led group and Neiman’s primary owners, Warburg Pincus and TPG Capital, are continuing and may still fall apart, this person cautioned.
If a deal is reached, it would end nearly eight years of control by Warburg and TPG, who had been looking to exit their investment for several months. The two investment firms filed to take Neiman public this spring, but also began pursuing an outright sale that would help them shed their ties to the company more quickly.
By exploring a sale or initial public offering of Neiman, the two firms became the latest buyout shops hoping to capitalize on strong markets to sell their investments. During the sales process, advisers to Warburg and TPG held discussions with a number of potential suitors, including Ares and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board; CVC Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Warburg and TPG had considered selling Neiman, whose luxury wares range from Alexander McQueen dresses to custom jet packs, a number of times, but held on when the financial crisis shook up the world of retail. The retailer has since bounced back, reporting $ 4.3 billion in sales last year, compared to $ 3.6 billion in 2009.
A deal with Ares and the Canadian Pension Plan would mean that a second luxury retailer would be at least partly owned by a Canadian company. Saks Inc. agreed in late July to sell itself to the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Toronto-based owner of Lord & Taylor and the Hudson’s Bay chain in Canada, for $ 2.4 billion.
News of the talks with Ares and the Canadian Pension Plan was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.