Neiman Marcus no longer on the block.
Three months after the luxe retailer unveiled a plan to explore strategic alternatives, Chief Executive Karen Katz said Tuesday that “any conversations about a full or partial sale of the company have terminated.”
The Post reported exclusivelylast month that merger talks with Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay had hit a roadblock over concerns that Neiman faced possible legal challenges from creditors.
As those talks stalled, Neiman execs had met with Related Cos. to discuss a possible investment in Neiman by the New York-based real estate giant, whose Hudson Yards complex that’s under development On Manhattan’s West Side will be anchored by a Neiman Marcus store, sources told The Post.
“The most logical strategic buyer would be HBC (Hudson’s Bay Co.) and they have a lot of their own issues right now,” said retail consultant and former Neiman Marcus executive Steven Dennis, referring to a report last week that Hudson’s Bay is laying off 2,000 employees as part of a restructuring plan.
“While looking ahead, we know challenges remain, but we are encouraged by the strategies we have in place to improve our operational efficiencies and performance,” Katz said.
“We have slowed the pace of decline,” she said, pointing to the latest quarter in which revenues dipped 4.9 percent in the three months ended April 29 compared with a 7.3 percent decline a year ago.
Same-store sales also declined by 4.9 percent, representing the seventh consecutive quarter of declines.
Neiman, struggling under a swelling debt load, hired investment bank Lazard to look for ways to bolster its balance sheet, Reuters reported in March, as the company continued to struggle with lackluster demand in the face of stiff competition from Amazon and fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara.
Much of Neiman Marcus’s debt load stems from its $6 billion leveraged buyout in 2013, when its current owners, Ares Management and Canadian public pension fund CPPIB, acquired it from other private equity firms.
Neiman Marcus, which also owns the Bergdorf Goodman stores on Fifth Avenue, had total liabilities of $6.4 billion, including $1.2 billion of deferred income taxes according to its latest annual filing.
While “the promotional environment remains intense” Katz said, sales of handbags, jewelry, men’s products and sneakers have contributed to improved performance in May.
Earlier this year Dallas-based Neiman Marcus also shelved plans for an initial public offering.