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Reuters
Published
Jan 23, 2009
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Dubai fund may sell Barneys New York

By
Reuters
Published
Jan 23, 2009

SINGAPORE, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Barneys New York Inc's owner, Dubai's Istithmar World PJSC, may sell the U.S. luxury retailer less than two years after buying it as the fund struggles with losses and the luxury market slows, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the situation.

Istithmar [DBWLDB.UL] doesn't want to sell the business for less than the $942.3 million it paid in 2007, said one of the people. The state-owned fund has had calls from potential buyers and would sell its entire stake.

Istithmar CEO David Jackson declined to comment, Bloomberg said.

The Dubai investment fund has struggled to expand Barneys outside the U.S. after Howard Socol resigned as chief executive in May and the luxury market withered.

Istithmar was one of seven Gulf funds that lost a cumulative 15 percent in 2008, according to Saudi bank Samba Financial Group.

As of last year, it managed more than $10 billion. The fund also owns 20 percent of Canadian circus troupe Cirque du Soleil and a majority of Gulf Stream Asset Management LLC, Bloomberg reported. (Asiadesk +65 6870 3835, Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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