Istithmar to buy $950 million Barneys

Clothing company Jones Apparel Group is in talks to sell luxury department store Barneys New York to Istithmar for $950 million (€714 million). The Dubai-based firm has been active in the New York real estate market lately.

Dubai government-owned private equity firm Istithmar is bidding for luxury department store chain Barneys New York from current owners Jones Apparel Group, according to a source close to the buyout firm. Media reports said the bid is around $950 million (€715 million).

US newspaper the New York Post said Istithmar is in the final stage of the deal which has taken several months.

Jones chief executive Peter Boneparth bought Barneys three years ago for $400 million.

 A New York-based retail analyst said of Istithmar: “They’ve been in town a bunch.”  The buyout firm owns US discount retailer Loehmann’s, the New York branch of the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain and buildings at 230 Park Avenue and 450 Lexington Avenue.

 Department stores are popular with buyout firms principally for the sale-and-leaseback opportunities they offer. Earlier this month UK private equity firm Lion Capital bought Dutch store Hema from buyout firm-owned Maxeda for a price thought to be around €1.1 billion ($1.46 billion).

 The Post said Istithmar will probably expand the chain overseas.