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Neiman Marcus Seeks Buyer

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Less than a week after posting a massive 81 percent decline in third-quarter profits, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is reportedly searching for a buyer as it explores options for the 42-store chain.

A source revealed to the New York Post that Karen Katz, chief executive of the Dallas-based retailer, recently traveled to China to meet with executives of Anbang Insurance Group—which owns the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, among other things—but the firm wasn’t interested.

Neiman Marcus—which also operates two Bergdorf Goodman stores, 29 Neiman Marcus Last Call clearance centers, 13 Last Call Studios and five Cusp stores—is saddled with $5 billion in debt. Last week, Katz blamed a “challenging” third quarter on the rising dollar, falling foot traffic and declining oil prices, the latter of which has impacted the retailer heavily because most of its namesake stores are in Texas.

“Two of our biggest are located in Dallas North Park Center and in the Houston Galleria where the economy and our customers’ business interests are heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry,” Katz said on the company earnings call.

As such, revenues fell 4.2% to $1.17 billion in the most recent quarter and sales at stores open for at least one year declined 5 percent. Higher than usual markdowns didn’t help matters either.

It’s not the first time Neiman Marcus has offered itself up on a plate. In 2013, Ares Management Company and the Canadian Pension Plan teamed up to purchase it for $6 billion. At the time, the retailer was in the red for almost $3.5 billion.

Today, with more debt and liabilities under its belt, it’s even less appetizing than it was three years ago. A source told the Post “they have so much debt…the equity is not worth anything.”

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