Remember last week when we waxed on about how Barneys New York desperately needed a new owner? Well, apparently, rich guy Ron Burkle wants to buy the struggling upscale retailer. Burkle has invested in everything from the Pittsburgh Penguins to Sean John in the past, and last December he bought a big chunk of the company's debt. He wants to pitch in another $50 million, which would give him control of 80% of the company. While Burkle doesn't know much about luxury, he does know a lot about retail, so this might be a good fit. His people can take care of the finances while the creatives at Barneys can keep doing what they do best.
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.