Neiman Marcus weighs possible sale of Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman is exploring a possible sale — and one possible final result is that it strikes to a shocking deal with close by, The Post has realized.

Neiman Marcus, which has owned the storied Fifth Avenue luxurious mecca since 1972, has been interviewing bankers, together with for a possible sale of Bergdorf, in a bid to lift money after rising from chapter in September, sources advised The Post.

In a shock twist, insiders say that among the many consumers within the 122-year-old division retailer is Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. — the previous landlord of Bergdorf’s now-deceased luxurious rival Barneys. That’s as a result of Ashkenazy is on the prowl for tenants at its 660 Madison Ave., which Barneys vacated when it liquidated its stores in December 2019.

Talks between Neiman and Ashkenazy have “recently heated up,” in response to a supply with data of the state of affairs.

A black Barneys banner hanging in front of the stor.
Barneys closed its Madison Avenue flagship completely in December 2019.

Neiman denied a sale however declined to touch upon whether or not the corporate has just lately held discussions with bankers or potential bidders.

“We have no intention nor are we looking to sell Bergdorf Goodman at this time,” a Neiman spokesperson mentioned. “We are strategically investing in our business and our brands with the intention of growing and strengthening the company.”

A supply near the corporate added that Neiman will not be in “active conversations regarding a sale.”

Of course, Ashkenazy might get outbid in any public sale, which consultants predict might fetch upwards of $1.5 billion. Insiders say Bergdorf would doubtless appeal to curiosity from different massive names in luxurious — foremost amongst them Bernard Arnault, the billionaire whose French luxurious big LVMH scooped up Tiffany & Co. earlier this 12 months for $15.8 billion.

Photo of Bernard Arnault, head of luxury conglomerate LVMH.
Watchers say Bernard Arnault, the billionaire behind French luxurious big LVMH, may be fascinated with Bergdorf Goodman is it goes on the block.
AFP by way of Getty Images

Arnault has “always been obsessed” with Bergdorf, in response to a supply near Neiman Marcus. If LVMH made a proposal, it might doubtless wish to purchase the true property from the present landlord, the supply added. That’s as a result of the lease for the flagship ladies’s retailer expires in 2050 — setting it up for a future lease hike just like the one which doomed Barneys.

A 3rd potential bidding bloc for Bergdorf, which in response to sources already has expressed curiosity, consists of WeWork founder Adam Neumann and Sam Ben-Avraham, who had bid for Barneys in 2019

Reps for Ashkenazy and LVMH didn’t return a request for remark. Ben-Avraham by way of a spokesperson denied that he has expressed curiosity in Bergdorf Goodman.

Neumann declined to remark.

Insiders mentioned Bergdorf’s gross sales — which reached $650 million at their peak — plunged greater than 50 % throughout the pandemic. Profitability, in the meantime, has tumbled to $20 million in Ebitda, or earnings earlier than curiosity, taxes and amortization, from a peak of $120 million.

“A buyer will be buying into the potential rather than the performance of the brand,” one supply near the corporate mentioned. “Because the company is doing so poorly. It’s been a struggle.”

The objective has all the time been to make Bergdorf a $1 billion greenback enterprise, a supply mentioned, however efforts to beef up digital gross sales have stalled. 

WeWork founder Adam Neumann wearing a white t-shirt with his arms outstretched.
WeWork founder, Adam Neumann, might purchase Bergdorf Goodman with a associate.
Getty Images for WeWork

One state of affairs being mentioned would contain Ashkenazy Acquisition becoming a member of a bunch that purchases Bergdorf. An benefit of the outdated Barneys area, positioned on the nook of East sixtieth Street, is that it might home each the ladies’s and males’s departments in a single constructing, sources famous. Currently, Bergdorf does enterprise on each side of Fifth Avenue at East 58th Street, with the larger ladies’s retailer on the west aspect reverse the lads’s store on the east.

In the meantime, Neiman has been elevating money and shoring up its stability sheet, exiting two main workplace leases close to its Dallas headquarters and promoting dear paintings it owns, together with unique Nineteen Seventies sketches by Halston, images by late style photographer Bill Cunningham and a trove items collected by Stanley Marcus within the Nineteen Sixties by way of the Eighties.

In December, Neiman reaped $18.2 million from the sale of a big cell by Alexander Calder at a Sotheby’s public sale. The Calder had been displayed contained in the Hudson Yards retailer that closed permanently last year.

Neiman additionally refinanced debt in March, saying it had no borrowings on a $900 million credit score line and had $200 million in money. 

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