NEW YORK — The bidding on the Neiman Marcus Group is now expected to be done by Friday, and it seems the price tag will come in at the high end of estimates.
According to a financial source familiar with the bidding, would-be owners are expected to submit bids in the per-share range of $110 to $113, bringing the purchase price close to the $5.5 billion previously reported.
Bids were initially expected earlier this week. However, several parties involved are said to be in negotiations with Neiman’s bankers. Bids are now expected to come in on Friday.
The two front-runners are the partnerships of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Bain Capital Partners, and Thomas H. Lee Partners and The Blackstone Group.
The spokesmen for the private equity firms either could not be reached for comment or declined comment.
Meanwhile, Neiman’s is fielding offers for its credit card business, according to a story in The New York Times on Tuesday.
A financial source at a private investment firm said Tuesday that it makes sense to find a buyer for Neiman’s credit card business since a financial buyer — such as Citigroup or American Express — would be willing to pay more for the operation. A financial services firm, said the contact, would also place a higher value on the business than a private equity firm looking to buy Neiman Marcus in its entirety.
The sale of Neiman’s has garnered attention and speculation from several fronts. Over the past few weeks, there were rumblings that Vornado Realty Trust, the real estate investment trust, was interested in Neiman’s. Financial and investment sources thought the REIT would take an equity stake and join forces with KKR and Bain to make a play for Neiman’s.
Sources said this possibility had weight, given the recent play by the troika in its winning bid for Toys ‘R’ Us. Sources close to the Neiman negotiations, however, said this speculation was not true.
Still, shares of Neiman Marcus have been ticking up. It closed Tuesday at $98.29, up $1.69, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Separately, the specialty retailer said Tuesday it was launching its new 2005 Wish Book as well as InCircle.com.“Since its inception in 1984 as the first customer recognition program in the retail industry, InCircle has strived to provide the best of the luxury lifestyle to our most loyal clients. As we unveil this year’s program, we find the rewards offered to be broader and better than ever before. As an added benefit, we are delighted to offer our InCircle customers the ease and convenience of managing their point program online at incircle.com,” said Jeffrey Netzer, vice president, customer programs, in a statement.
The InCircle.com Web site features details about the premiere customer recognition program, and includes the entire 2005 Wish Book, plus eExclusives and limited-time redemption offers only available online.
Customers with 750,000 points to redeem, for example, can choose the Canyon Ranch option, which includes spa treatment for four accompanied by a private consultation and beauty master class with cosmetics guru Bobbi Brown. Customers who have achieved the 2.5 million-point level might opt for a kitchen makeover, complete with a selection of all new Viking appliances and products, as well as in-home cooking lessons with chef and cookbook author, Waldy Malouf.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)