DICKSON SET TO GIVE WORD ON BARNEYS
NEW YORK — In a sign that the Barneys Inc. bankruptcy case is picking up speed, Dickson Concepts has completed its due diligence of the specialty chain and is expected to make an announcement today about plans for an international investment, sources said Thursday.
Retail experts noted that with its Barneys due diligence completed, Dickson may be required under securities laws to disclose intentions to pursue a possible deal since it is a public company. They said they did not believe any deal has been made and releasing terms of a proposal would be premature.
Barneys previously disclosed that the Hong Kong-based Dickson has expressed serious interest in the chain. Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus have also expressed interest in possibly pursuing a deal with Barneys.
Barneys is seeking a partner to invest in the chain and fund a reorganization plan. It is likely that an investor would seek a controlling interest.
Dickson owns Harvey Nichols in London and S.T. Dupont in Paris.
A ruling on a pivotal point in the Barneys case — whether Isetan Co. Ltd. is Barneys’ landlord or an equity partner — is expected Monday in Manhattan bankruptcy court. Also scheduled for Monday is a hearing on the royalty payments Barneys claims it is owed by Isetan on an Asian license agreement that Barneys said it terminated in September 1996.
A deal with Dickson or another party could set the stage for settlement negotiations with Isetan and creditors. Barneys has been in Chapter 11 proceedings since January 1996.