Jones Apparel Group buys Barneys for $400 million

In a bid to capture part of the growing market for luxury fashions and accessories, Jones Apparel Group Inc. said it had agreed to buy upscale Barneys New York Inc. for $400 million, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Jones, based in Bristol, Bucks County, and known for mid-priced clothing and shoes, said the deal for Barneys announced today is an important step in Jones’ diversification, which has taken the company from its apparel roots into shoes, handbags, jewelry, and denim.

Barneys brings management closer to its goal of “making Jones bulletproof” to disruptions in any channel, product line or vendor, Jones president and chief executive officer Peter Boneparth reportedly told analysts during a conference call.

Jones agreed to pay $19 per share to Barneys stockholders and to pay off $106 million in notes, the newspaper reports.

Barneys operates 21 stores, with flagship stores in New York, Beverly Hills, and Chicago. Founded in 1923, Barneys had $444.2 million in sales and operating income of $32.8 million in the 12 months ended July 31. During that period sales at stores open at least a year increased by 18%.

Jones Apparel, which has made four acquisitions for a total value of more than $1 billion since the beginning of 2002, last year had net income of $328.6 million on sales of $4.3 billion.