Investment bank KKR has hatched a plan that would merge two of America’s most prominent upscale department stores—Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue—according to Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal reports.
The news reports said KKR is considering investing in Saks and would then urge a combination with Neiman.
The combined company would save money by closing overlapping stores as well as combining back-end functions like sourcing and logistics, the reports said.
A follow-up Journal report said that the two chains considered merging years ago. It added the talks are in a preliminary stage and very tentative at this point.
The news comes as both big brands are said to be exploring options regarding their corporate structure. Neiman is currently owned by two funds and has repeatedly been reported to be considering alternatives, including going public or a sale.
Saks is currently public, and it reportedly has hired Goldman Sachs to explore its options, including a leveraged buyout or sale to a private equity firm.