Real Estate Mogul Barry Sternlicht Has Submitted A Bid For The Company That Owns Saks Fifth Avenue, the New York Post has reported.
The chairman of the private equity real estate firm Starwood Capital Group is understood to have offered between $17 and $18 a share for the high-end department store chain.
This offer is roughly equal to one made by Hudson’s Bay, the Canada-based owner of Lord & Taylor, which is equal to roughly $2.5 billion.
Sternlicht may be emerging as the surprise leader in what is shaping up as a three-horse race. In addition to Sternlicht and Hudson’s Bay, the third bidder is believed to be a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund. Goldman Sachs is overseeing the sales process.
Saks owns about two-thirds of its stores nationwide. The value of its real estate holdings alone is estimated to be at least $1.5 billion.
Sternlicht has suggested a plan to split Saks’ real estate holdings from the company, an arrangement that could potentially force Saks to rent the stores it currently owns. [NYP] – James Comtois