A few days after a company owned by the government of Dubai offered $825 million to purchase the Barneys luxury department store chain from Jones Apparel Group, a Japan-based retail company, Fast Retailing, offered $896 million for Barneys. But Fast Retailing itself admitted that its bid may lead to a larger offer from another party for the chain, increasing the capital gain that Jones is going to make on Barneys.
On June 22 Jones, which also owns Nine West and other properties in the footwear sector, announced that it had agreed to the $825 million takeover proposal from Istithmar, a private-equity company owned by Dubai World, a property of the government of Dubai. Under terms of the agreement, Jones can entertain other offers until tomorrow, but is required to pay a break-up fee of $20.6 million to Istithmar if Jones accepts one of them. After tomorrow, the fee rises to $22.7 million.
Separately, Peter Boneparth, who was originally planning on resigning from the company when his contract expires at the end of March in 2009, has announced that he is leaving now, after a turbulent relationship with the company’s board that included an attempt to sell the whole company. Jones has named Wesley Card, 59, as president and chief executive, replacing Boneparth. He was previously chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Jones, where he has served for 17 years.
The chief financial officer’s role is being filled by John McClain, while Cynthia DiPietrantonio has been promoted to chief operations officer. McClain was previously chief accounting officer of Avis Budget Group. DiPietrantonio, who will report to Card, worked at Jones most recently executive vice president of customer relations and corporate credit. Jones has also named Michael Kauffman as executive vice president of distribution operations, reporting to DiPietrantonio. The group has promoted Norman Veit to executive vice president of management information systems, also reporting to DiPietrantonio.