Report: Struggling Neiman Marcus Sniffing Around For A Buyer

Image courtesy of Adam Fagen

It looks like peddling $425,000 Oscars-themed luxury packages isn’t doing much for Neiman Marcus’ bottom line: a new report says the luxury department store company, which also owns Bergdorf Goodman, is looking around for potential buyers or an investor with deep pockets, to help it get out from a $5 billion debt load.

Neiman Marcus, like other retailers, has been struggling to attract customers to its brick-and-mortar stores in the face of online competitors like Amazon. Then there’s that $5 billion debt hanging over its head and sluggish sales to boot, prompting Chief Executive Karen Katz to travel to China to meet with potential buyers, according to a source who spoke to the New York Post about the situation.

Katz reportedly met with folks from Anbang Insurance Group, also known as the company who tried (and failed) to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts a few months back, and paid $1.96 billion to buy the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Anbang passed on buying the company, the source told the NYP.

Making matters worse in a retail environment that’s already posing problems for many companies, Neiman has a slew of stores in Texas, where a sharp drop in oil prices has perhaps kept wealthy customers from shopping.

“Two of our biggest stores are in Dallas NorthPark and Houston Galleria, where the economy and our customers’ business interests are heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry,” Katz told analysts on a third-quarter earnings call on June 13.

Neiman said last August that it was planning to go public and file an initial public offering, but that plan has been delayed. The money from the stock sale would’ve been used to pay down that $5 billion debt.

Neiman Marcus is looking for a buyer [The New York Post]

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