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Authentic Brands Declares Victory in Barneys Bid, But It's Not a Done Deal

Authentic Brands Group said it had succeeded in its bid for the luxury retailer, but two competing bidders say they are still in the running.
Barneys fate is unclear | Source: Shutterstock
By
  • Cathaleen Chen

NEW YORK, United States — Licensing company Authentic Brands Group announced Thursday evening that it has emerged as the successful bidder for Barneys New York, as the department store chain approaches the final stretch of its two-month bankruptcy process.

ABG submitted a $271.4 million bid last week, saying it plans to close all seven remaining Barneys stores and license the retailer’s intellectual property to its rival, Saks Fifth Avenue. In ABG’s announcement Thursday, founder and Chief Executive Jamie Salter said that the company’s “offer for Barneys has been accepted.”

In a statement to BoF, Barneys refuted that ABG had won out, citing an Oct. 31 deadline for bids. At least two other groups are attempting to buy Barneys, including one led by early Kith investor Sam Ben-Avraham and another being assembled by David Jackson, former chief executive of Dubai-based Istithmar World, which controlled the department store from 2007 to 2012.

“Barneys is continuing to work towards a value-maximising going concern transaction, including in relation to a potential transaction led by Sam Ben-Avraham and his group of financial, operational, and strategic partners, up to and including the October 31 sale hearing,” a Barneys spokesperson said in an email.

Ben-Avraham, a trade show operator who founded the multi-brand store Atrium, submitted a $260 million bid Wednesday that would keep most Barneys stores open, but told BoF he has yet to finalise some details of his proposal. Backing his plan is a group of five retail veterans including Andrew Rosen and Intermix founder Khajak Keledjian.

Jackson is working on a third bid for Barneys on behalf of two investment firms based in the Middle East.

“We are still hoping for [an] extension” to make the Oct. 31 deadline, he told BoF Thursday evening.

The fate of Barneys is not sealed until ABG’s bid is formally approved in court, said Jeff Trexler, an attorney at the Fashion Law Institute.

“In bankruptcy nothing is final until the papers are signed, but it does appear ABG has the momentum,” he said.

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