PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – Jones Apparel Group Inc. said on Wednesday it agreed to sell its Barneys New York chain to Istithmar for a sweetened price of $942.3 million after the Dubai-owned firm raised its offer in the face of a rival bid from Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. Ltd..
Under the terms of the amended purchase agreement, Fast Retailing, owner of the Uniqlo chain, has until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday U.S. East Coast time to make another offer.
Fast Retailing had hiked its unsolicited offer on Sunday to $950 million, escalating the bidding war for the luxury department store chain.
Jones agreed to buy Barneys in 2004 for $400 million, moving a company that supplied clothes and shoes to mall department stores and discounters into the luxury retailing market.
Jones, which also owns clothing, shoes and accessories brands such as Nine West, Gloria Vanderbilt and Jones New York, had put itself up for sale twice in the past year but failed to find a buyer. It said earlier this month that the whole company was no longer for sale.
Jones originally agreed to sell Barneys to Istithmar in June for $825 million. David Jackson, chief executive of Istithmar, could not immediately be reached for comment on the new bid.
Istithmar could consider launching Barneys in markets such as China and the Middle East if it completes the deal, Jackson previously told Reuters.
Istithmar’s investments on behalf of the Dubai government include a stake in Standard Chartered Plc. and luxury liner Queen Elizabeth 2.
If Fast raised its bid and Jones accepted it, the apparel company would have to pay Istithmar a termination fee of $34.7 million.
Shares of Jones gained 5 cents to $19.45 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.