Barneys Resumes CEO Search?

New York–The New York Post and other media outlets reported today that Barneys, the New York-based upscale specialty retailer, is again looking for a CEO, a post that’s been vacant for nearly two years.

Last November, Barneys purportedly received a cash injection of $50 million in exchange for a controlling stake from billionaire supermarket owner Ron Burkle’s investment company Yucaipa Companies. Speculation has been building that Barneys, which is owned by Istithmar World Capital in Dubai, was potentially being examined with a proposal from Burkle.

Istithmar had effectively dropped the CEO search last year amid uncertainty about the future ownership of the retailer. While Istithmar consistently denied reports that it had held informal talks to unload Barneys, sources said Dubai’s debt crisis had threatened a forced sale.

However, The New York Post notes that after healthy spring business, Barneys may be on the look-out for a new CEO, although they speculate Istithmar has not yet hired a recruitment specialist for the job, nor confirmed the recruitment rumors.

In addition to its buyouts of several major supermarket chains, Yucaipa has stakes in other retailers including Barnes & Noble, Scoop and in jewelers Garrard and Stephen Webster.

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