MAYOR’S JEWELERS SAID NEAR SALE

NEW YORK — Money-losing Mayor’s Jewelers may be close to getting a new owner.
Among potential buyers for the upscale jewelry retailer are diamond.com, based in Sunrise, Fla., and Palladin Capital Group, a New York-based leveraged-buyout firm, according to published reports over the past week. Neither firm could be reached for comment Monday.
The retailer, which has 41 stores, in February fired Isaac Arguetty, its chairman and chief executive. He was succeeded as ceo by Joseph Cicio, who held top positions at the former R.H. Macy, including ceo of the I.Magnin division, as well as at Donna Karan. Board member Peter Offermann was named interim chairman. Calls to Mayor’s on Monday were not returned, but the company-imposed deadline for bid offers has reportedly passed.
Founded in 1910, Mayor’s has had financial troubles since it was acquired by Jan Bell Marketing, a leased jewelry store operator in 1998 for $100 million, which subsequently adopted the upscale retailer’s name. Arguetty founded Jan Bell in 1983. In the fiscal year ended Feb. 3, sales dropped 10.2 percent to $160.1 million, and same-store sales plummeted 17 percent.

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