Dubai government investment agency Istithmar World is not in talks to sell US luxury retailer Barneys New York, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai World, said.
"We have not announced nor [sought] anybody regarding Barneys," said Bin Sulayem at the opening of port container operator DP World's new terminal in Djibouti. Istithmar World is a unit of Dubai World.
Last month, Bloomberg reported Istithmar World may sell Barneys, less than two years after buying it as the fund struggles with losses and the luxury market slows. Bloomberg said Istithmar did not want to sell the business for less than the $942.3m (Dh3.45bn) it paid for it in 2007, and that the state-owned fund had had calls from buyers and would sell its entire stake.
It was earnier rumoured that Istithmar World, may sell the retailer less than two years after buying it. "Istithmar doesn't want to sell the business for less than the $942.3m it paid in 2007, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the talks were private," said the Bloomberg report.
Barneys sells fashions by designers ranging from Balenciaga to Manolo Blahnik. Founded by Barney Pressman as a cut-rate men's suit store in 1923, the company began building up women's lines in the 1970s.
The Pressman family lost control in 1998 and the company exited bankruptcy protection in 1999.
It was bought by Jones Apparel Group Inc for $294.3m in 2004. Istithmar acquired Barneys from Jones in September, 2007.
Istithmar was talking with Prada SpA about a partnership to expand in the Middle East as recently as last summer. Since then, the luxury market has worsened. (Agencies)