US luxury retailer Neiman Marcus bought for $7.6 billion

NEW YORK CITY (AFP) - United States luxury retailer Neiman Marcus was bought on Monday by two investment funds for US$6 billion (S$7.6 billion), the buyers announced.

Ares management, a Los Angeles-based private investment fund, and the Canadian government's Canada Pension Plan said they had set a firm deal to take over the department store chain from a group of investors led by TPG and Warburg Pincus.

Some of the purchase price will go towards paying off some existing Neiman Marcus debt.

Dallas, Texas-based Neiman Marcus, known for decades for its high-end products and opulent, millionaires-only Christmas offerings, includes 41 of its nameplate stores, two Bergdorf Goodman stores in New York City, and 36 outlet centres under the Last Call Brand.

"This investment fits with our longstanding approach of accelerating growth in companies in the consumer and retail sectors," said Mr David Kaplan, senior partner at Ares.

Ares already has investments in consumer goods businesses, including Samsonite, Maidenform Brands, General Nutrition Centres and others.

"This is an excellent opportunity to invest in a leading omni-channel luxury retailer, operating two of the most iconic retail brands in the US," said Mr Andre Bourbonnais, senior vice-president at Canada Pension Plan.

"We believe the company's strong market position, combined with an expected increase in US luxury goods spending, provide attractive opportunities for future growth."