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Fast Retailing offers $900 million for Barneys

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Japan’s Fast Retailing, parent firm of Uniqlo, has finalised its $900 million (£443 million) bid to buy upmarket US department store chain Barneys New York.

“The bid, a day after an extraordinary board meeting, is conditional on a mutually acceptable purchase agreement,” Fast Retailing officials said in a statement.

This latest offer tops an earlier bid agreed to by Barneys’ owner Jones Apparel. Earlier in July, Jones Apparel had agreed to sell the chain to Dubai’s private equity group Istithmar, for $825 million. If Jones opts for the Fast Retailing offer, instead, it will be obliged to pay Istithmar a fee of up to $22.7 million for withdrawing from the earlier deal.

Uniqlo has made a name in selling jeans, t-shirts and other basic items. The latest move marks a move to expand geographically as well as to broaden its target audience.

Fast Retailing, which focuses on low-priced basic clothes, is looking to overseas markets for future growth. “Fast Retailing is committed to supporting Barneys’ continued growth and unique position as one of the leading luxury department store brands in the world,” the firm said.

Barneys New York has several US stores, as well as three outlets in Tokyo that operate as franchisees.

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