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Latest News

Bullish Landmark preps Saks bid


October 29, 2007 10:00 by

Saks, Landmark

Landmark Group, owner of the Babyshop, Splash and Home Center retail brands, is reported to be in discussions to launch a takeover of Saks, one of the US’s most prestigious department store chains. News wires say the Dubai-based retailer may team up with Baugur of Iceland, a serial fashion business buyer, to kick start the bid.

Micky Jagtiani, CEO of Landmark, is currently in the US and was unavailable to comment. His Milestone Resources holds 1.2 per cent stake in Saks; Baugur has an 8.5 per cent stake. The Times reports the joint bid could be around $3bn.

Takeover speculation surrounding Saks first emerged in the media two weeks ago, and shares in the firm have risen almost 14% since the start of October. Saks has 54 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 49 Saks Off 5th outlets, 62 Club Libby Lu shops, and an online operation.

The Saks story is the latest in a bullish series of moves by Landmark. Earlier this month it committed $25m to opening stores in China, with the Babyshop and Home Center brands leading the way. “China offers unmatched potential and great opportunity for growth. Our presence in China will perfectly augment our expansion plans,” said Jagtiani at the time.

Saks will be an entirely new kettle of fish. The upmarket retailer operates at the very top of the fashion market (Saks Fifth Avenue carries Prada, YSL and Chloe, among other designers, a world away from Splash’s $5 T-shirts), but does have room for international expansion. It opened a Dubai store in 2004, but has failed to match the international roll-out of rivals Harvey Nichols.

Landmark also runs franchise operations for Reiss, Koton, Aftershock and New Look.


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