NEW YORK (AFP) – Upscale US retailer Barney’s New York is being sold to a Dubai state-owned investment firm for 825 million dollars in cash, Barney’s parent Jones Apparel Group announced Friday.
Jones said it signed a definitive agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Barney’s to Istithmar, a Dubai-based private equity and alternative investment house.
“We are very pleased to enter into this transaction, which realizes significant value for our investment in Barney’s and provides us with the opportunity to use the net proceeds to enhance shareholder value,” said Peter Boneparth, president and chief executive of Jones, which also owns the brands Evan-Picone, Gloria Vanderbilt, Nine West and Easy Spirit.
Istithmar is owned by Dubai World, which in turn is wholly owned by the Dubai government. In the three years since its inception, Istithmar has invested in over 30 companies in consumer, industrial and financial services.
The sale marks the latest twist for Barney’s a storied New York retailer started in 1923 by Barney Pressman, which went through bankruptcy in the 1990s and lost millions for Japanese investors.
In the mid-1990s, Japan’s Isetan posted losses of 168 million dollars from loans to Barney’s before it filed for bankruptcy.
Under the Jones group, Barneys operates flagship stores in New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Boston and Dallas as well as several regional “warehouse” stores and others under the CO-OP Barney’s name.