When Istithmar’s deal to buy Barneys New York for $825 million was announced couple of weeks ago, only few people noticed a small clause in the deal: it permitted competing offers for a couple of days.
Then came a bidding war: Japanese apparel chain, Fast Retailing, entered the game and offered $900 million; Istithmar matched it; Fast Retailing topped it with $950 million and now Istithmar has a couple of hours to match it with a billion dollar amount or lose the deal.
For Dubai investment community, it is a “Liverpool moment” again. Back in January Dubai International Capital (DIC) was in a similar situation when it was stuck in a bidding war over the Liverpool football club. With Liverpool’s price tag in the exact range of Barneys (~$925 million), DIC lost the bidding game to American tycoon George Gillett. At that time, DIC’s Chief executive Sameer Al Ansari was quoted saying: “We won't overpay for assets”.
Now another “big deal” for Dubai is near collapse. Will Dubai cross the “billion dollar” line this time? We should just wait a couple of hours …
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