August 6, 2013 / 1:53 AM / 4 years ago

Neiman Marcus selects underwriters for IPO amid Saks deal -sources

Aug 5 (Reuters) - Neiman Marcus has selected underwriters for a near term initial public offering, in the latest sign that the high end department store is looking towards going public rather than pursue a sale, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The Dallas, Texas based company, owned by private equity firms TPG and Warburg Pincus, has selected Credit Suisse AG, Bank of America and JPMorgan to lead an IPO, the source said.

TPG and Warburg declined to comment, Neiman Marcus did not respond to a request for comment.

Neiman Marcus had previously hired Credit Suisse to run a sales process for the company, which so far has yet to yield a buyer, sources told Reuters.

Sources said that Neiman’s owners are still keeping itheir options open and may decide to sell the company if another buyer comes along.

Investors from Qatar were interested in Neiman’s luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman but the company was not interested in selling off the piece which it regards as its crown jewel, one source said.

Leonard Green, Credit Suisse, Bank of America and JPMorgan declined to comment.

Neiman operates 41 namesake departments stores, Bergdorf Goodman as well as the lower-price outlet chains Last Call and CUSP. It competes directly with chains like Saks Inc, Nordstrom Inc and Macy’s upscale Bloomingdale’s chain.

Canadian department store chain Hudson’s Bay announced last week a plan to acquire Saks for $2.9 billion including debt.

Neiman and private equity firm KKR & Co LP had earlier teamed up to pursue a merger with Saks which fell flat, sources previously told Reuters.

TPG and Warbug acquired Neiman in 2005 for $5.1 billion.

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