Neiman Marcus turns down $3 billion takeover offer from Saks


Two of the biggest names in luxury retail are in talks to become one.

Saks Fifth Avenue has offered $3 billion to acquire Neiman Marcus, according to The Wall Street Journal. And while that offer was rejected, the two companies are continuing the negotiations.

The objection, the paper reports, was more on terms of the deal, specifically the amount of that offer that was in cash. While talks are ongoing, no deal is expected at this point until some time in 2024.

The potential match-up comes at a time when luxury retail is in a down cycle, as consumers focus on bargain hunting and economic headwinds continue to keep them on edge. Neiman, in 2002, filed for bankruptcy, but has emerged in a better position, with less debt. Saks has reportedly been late with several payments to vendors, some of whom temporarily halted shipments.

Hudson Bay Company, which owns Saks, sold real estate holdings recently, raising $340 million to help pay bills.

Saks CEO Marc Metrick told Fortune in January that the brand’s customers have stayed loyal, perhaps because shopping at a non-luxury store after you’ve gotten use to that level of quality is a challenge for those consumers.

“Luxury can play different roles in a consumer’s life,” he said. “Some of it is aspirational, and some of it is rewarding yourself. During the pandemic, some of it was self-care. It’s really hard to move off of luxury once you’ve gotten used to it.”

A merger of the two companies could help them better negotiate terms with suppliers. At present, Saks has 39 stores, while Neiman Marcus has 36 (plus seven other stores under different brands).

The two initially discussed a merger in 2017, but failed to come to terms.

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