Report: Fortunoff For Sale Again

NRDC Equity Partners has decided to sell Fortunoff and is focusing talks on one potential buyer, Women’s Wear Daily reports.

The identity of the potential buyer is unknown, according to the report. But, according to the newspaper’s source, a deal could be announced within a couple of weeks, but there is no guarantee.

A spokesperson for NRDC refused to comment about the report to JCK.

NRDC purchased the jewelry and housewares chain 11 months ago for $110 million, which included $30 million in debt and other obligations. According to the WWD report, the chain is valued at $439 million.

NRDC plan upon purchasing the chain was to roll out Fortunoff jewelry and home shops with bridal registries inside Lord & Taylor, which it purchased in 2006. Fortunoff jewelry shops would have replaced the leased jewelry shops currently operated by Finlay Enterprises, Inc. The deal with Finlay is set to expire at the end of this month, but negotiations are under way to extend the agreement, WWD said in its report.

Speculation on Fortunoff’s future mounted this week when NRDC disclosed a major centralization strategy for its Hudson’s Bay Trading Company retail operations, and excluded Fortunoff from them, WWD reports.

NRDC purchased Fortunoff from Trimaran Capital Partners, an equity group that along with K Group, another private equity firm, bought Fortunoff in 2004.

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