Ares and CPPIB acquire Neiman Marcus for $6bn

TPG and Warburg Pincus are exiting the luxury retail company, which reportedly came close to being floated rather than sold.

Ares Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have agreed to buy luxury retailer Neiman Marcus for about $6 billion. 

Ares and CPPIB will take equal stakes in the Dallas-based retailer, with management retaining a minority stake.
 
An investor group including TPG and Warburg Pincus are exiting Neiman Marcus, which specialises in luxury goods and operates 79 stores across the country, including 41 Neiman Marcus stores, two Bergdorf Goodman locations and 36 Last Call outlet stores. The company’s owners were reportedly planning to exit via an initial public offering had they not found a buyer at the $6 billion price. 

Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and RBC Capital Markets are providing debt financing for the deal, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2013. 
 
“We believe the company’s strong market position, combined with an expected increase in US luxury goods spending, provide attractive opportunities for future growth,” Andre Bourbonnais, senior vice president of CPPIB, said in a statement.
 
Neiman Marcus reported sales of $4.3 billion in 2012, up from $4.0 billion in 2011 and $3.7 billion in 2010.
 
TPG and Warburg acquired equal stakes in Neiman Marcus in 2005 for $5.1 billion, paying $4.6 billion for the company and $500 million for its separate credit card division. Leonard Green and Company is also an investor in the business.
 
The transaction is not the first time Ares and CPPIB have teamed up on a large buyout. The two groups took 99 Cents Only Stores private in 2011 for $1.6 billion. More recently, Ares invested in US construction products maker CPG International last month alongside the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan in a deal valued at $1.5 billion.

Warburg Pincus was unavailable for comment at press time.