TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus LLC and Leonard Green & Partners, which took Neiman Marcus private in 2005 for $5.1 billion, have picked Credit Suisse, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co to lead the potential IPO, sources revealed.
Retail analysts said the move, which all parties involved declined to comment upon, may signify that the owners are leaning toward an IPO rather than selling the company.
As several news reports noted, private equity companies like the ones who own Neiman Marcus often try to sell to other companies or hedge funds while they are preparing for an IPO, a practice referred to as a “dual track.”
In fact, Warburg Pincus used the dual track just in May when it sold Bausch & Lomb Holdings Inc to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International for $8.7 billion just as the company was in the final stages of preparing for an IPO.
Adding to the speculation that the owners are seriously heading the IPO route is a Reuters report that Neiman Marcus Group turned down an offer from a “sovereign wealth fund from Qatar” which was interested in buying its Bergdorf Goodman store only.
The luxury retail group consists of 41 Neiman Marcus stores, Bergdorf Goodman as well as outlet chains Last Call and CUSP.