This just in from Bloomberg: Istithmar World PJSC, the Dubai-based investment fund that bought Barneys from Jones Apparel Group in 2007, is shopping Barneys around for a sale. They're citing "struggles with losses and the luxury market," and bad luck at expanding the company overseas, especially after Howard Socol's surprise departure last May. And since Istithmar isn't doing so well these days (the fund lost a cumulative 15% in 2008, and just announced a 10% staff cut today), it looks like they're pressed for a quick sale. So who will it be? NexCen (hah), Prada SpA (who held preliminary talks with Istithmar last year about a possible partnership with Barneys in the Middle East)? And what will it mean for the luxury retailer at home? Stay tuned.
Barneys Names Former Gucci Head Mark Lee CEO
Today, Dubai investment firm Istithmar World officially announced that former Gucci head Mark Lee would assume the role of CEO at Barneys New York. Former Barneys CEO Howard Socol left the company in 2008 after rumored frustrations with the store's new owners. Istithmar acquired Barneys from Jones Apparel Group in 2007 for about $900 million. The recession worsened Barneys' already shaky financial situation, and soon enough analysts began talking possible bankruptcy. Barneys previously filed for bankruptcy in the mid-'90s after a period of over-expansion.