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Report: Sycamore Partners Interested in Taking Nordstrom Private

Nordstrom

Sycamore Partners, a buyout equity firm that owns department store operator Belk, is reportedly among the firms interested in taking Nordstrom private.

The company is engaged in negotiations that are likely to take weeks, and there is no certainty that a deal will be reached, Reuters reported Friday (May 3).

Reached by PYMNTS, Sycamore Partners declined to comment on the report.

Nordstrom announced on April 18 that CEO Erik Nordstrom and President Pete Nordstrom told its board that they are interested in taking the company private.

The retailer added at the time that, as a result, the board formed a special committee of independent and disinterested directors that will evaluate any proposals from those executives and from other parties.

“The Board of Directors of Nordstrom, Inc. is committed to enhancing shareholder value and regularly evaluates a wide range of strategic, financial and operational alternatives as the Company continues to execute its strategic plan,” the company said at the time in a press release.

Nordstrom put together a special committee in 2017 to consider a buyout deal and discussed the option with several private equity firms. However, in 2018, the committee rejected a bid as insufficient.

More recently, in March, it was reported that the Nordstrom founding family had again expressed its interest to go private and retain control of the chain to allow the company to focus on long-term growth without the constant scrutiny of public markets.

Sycamore acquired Belk from members of its founding family in 2015 for $3 billion, according to the Reuters report. It has also considered purchasing other operators of department stores.

In August 2023, Sycamore Partners brought together three brands in the specialty apparel industry — Ann Taylor, Loft and Talbots — in its then-newly formed holding company called the Knitwell Group.

Knitwell Group, which also oversees the apparel brand Lane Bryant, generates combined annual sales of over $3 billion, the holding company said at the time.

In June 2022, it was reported that Sycamore Partners was among the bidders for Kohl’s.

In May 2022, Sycamore Partners submitted a proposal to acquire British fashion retailer Ted Baker but later dropped that buyout pursuit.

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