Barneys New York May Have a 3rd Bidder

We reported last week that Authentic Brands Group has bid $271 million for Barneys New York’s intellectual property rights—and that if accepted on Oct. 31, the deal will liquidate the retailer’s stores.  Saks Fifth Avenue would become the retailer for Barneys New York merchandise (possibly through Barneys shop-in-shops).

A rival bid from investors led by Sam Ben-Avraham didn’t pass muster in court on Thursday, making it seem probable that the Authentic Brands Group deal would go through.

But now it seems a third would-be buyer has emerged. News service Reuters is reporting that a Saudi and Persian Gulf consortium is seeking to buy Barneys New York. The news was first reported on Saudi financial news website Maaal Tuesday.

The consortium is led by Saudi company Arabian Oud and includes an “unidentified major airline.” Another Dubai, United Arab Emirates–based newspaper, Gulf News, confirmed the report, and wrote that the group is joining with Solitaire Partners to put in a bid in the “area of $270 million.”

“The bids are now with the court, and October 31 is the final day of submission,” David Jackson of Solitaire Partners told Gulf News. “Arabian Oud came on as our primary backer, and we believe we have placed an offer that’s competitive with the existing ones before the court. I believe apart from us, there are two other bids in the fray.”

The news outlet added, “If this does prove the winning bid, the first Barneys stores in the region will open in Saudi Arabia.”

The nostalgia for a lost Barneys New York has already begun. published a brief history of the legendary department store yesterday, filled with fashion designer interviews who recalled the career-making impact of being stocked by Barneys in their early days.

The department store was the first to break so many major designer brands, including Comme des Garçons, Prada, Ann Demeulemeester, Zac Posen, and Alexander Wang.

Barneys has also helped usher many jewelry designers to prominence, including Jennifer Meyer and Irene Neuwirth. In recent years, it’s boosted the brand profiles of jewelers Ileana Makri, Bianca Pratt, Pamela Love, Ana Khouri, Natasha Zinko, and Monique Péan, among others.


(Photo courtesy of Barneys New York)


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