Saks Inc. stock was active Thursday, amid continued speculation that a deal may happen soon and that private equity firm Sycamore Partners could enter the bidding for the luxury chain in tandem with another party.
There were also reports that Saks and Hudson’s Bay Co., which is bidding on Saks, had hired additional banks for advice.
Shares of Saks closed down 0.2 percent, or 3 cents, to $15.18 Thursday in heavy trading. Over 4.5 million shares traded hands, well above the 2.7 million average for the past three months. The company ended the day with a market capitalization of $2.2 billion and the stock has proven to be volatile as investors bet on whether the company will ultimately be bought out. RELATED STORY: Major Saks Stakeholder Sells Block of Shares >>
It could not be determined who Sycamore could be partnering with, but sources said it could be Starwood Capital, which is mostly interested in Saks’ real estate and is said to be bidding for Saks against Hudson’s Bay, operator of Lord & Taylor in the U.S. and Hudson’s Bay in Canada. Hudson’s Bay could purchase Saks on its own or choose a partner to minimize risk.
Sycamore is considered a smaller private equity but the firm’s manager director and cofounder, Stefan Kaluzny, is well-connected. “He’s not big enough to go after Saks alone but he can pick up the phone and call anyone,” said one financial source. Sycamore’s holdings include The Talbots Inc., Hot Topic and a 51 percent stake in Mast Global, a sourcing firm. At Talbots, Sycamore has also brought back certain former members of the retailer’s executive team to engineer its turnaround.
Sources on Thursday also said KKR & Co. had renewed its interest in Saks after considering buying Saks and merging it with rival Neiman Marcus in May. Neiman’s, however, shot down that idea at the time. A KKR spokeswoman declined to comment. “If there is a [sale] process going on, you can be sure KKR is going to take a look,” said the source.
The DealReporter on Thursday wrote that Hudson’s Bay retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to advise on a bid for Saks and that Saks is working with Morgan Stanley in addition to Goldman Sachs on strategic alternatives.
The sovereign wealth fund from Qatar, which this year bought Printemps in Paris and in 2010 purchased Harrods in London, has been interested in Saks, but this week financial sources suggested the Qatar group would only make a run for Saks if the share price in a deal was in the $15 to $16 range, and would bow out if the price jumped to $17 a share or higher. These individuals said the Qataris aren’t necessarily interested in a play for just a trophy asset, and are not about to overpay. The same is said to be true about Hudson’s Bay.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye