Seven & I to buy half of Barneys unit

Kyodo

Major retailer Seven & I Holdings Co. said Wednesday it will acquire a 49.9 percent stake in Barneys Japan Co., which imports and sells Barneys New York brand clothing, in January to enhance its product lineup.

While the firm has not disclosed the acquisition value, it is estimated at several billion yen, sources said. The stake will be bought from a private equity fund run by Tokio Marine Capital Co.

The retailer will be the second-largest shareholder of Barneys Japan, after Sumitomo Corp., which owns a 50.01 percent stake.

Seven & I said it expects to “generate synergies at an early stage” by strengthening its product lineup and making full use of the company’s expertise, such as its product merchandising.

The move will enable department store operator Sogo & Seibu Co. under the holding company to cooperate with Barneys in purchases and development of products. Sogo & Seibu is also considering opening Barneys outlets in its department stores and selling Barneys products via its Internet shopping site.

Barneys Japan operates 10 outlets in Japan, including in Tokyo’s Shinjuku and Ginza shopping districts. The company’s sales came to ¥19.5 billion on an unconsolidated basis in the business year through last February.