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Nordstrom’s founding family wants chain to go private.

Nordstrom’s founding family on Tuesday was close to partnering with a Los Angeles private equity firm to try and take the struggling retailer private — but the effort still faces steep odds, The Post has learned. The family is in talks with Leonard Green & Partners and, if selected, the firm would then have to...
Time: 21:44     Date: 12.09.2017
Last US Business News: Nordstrom’s founding family wants chain to go private. NY Post 24 - US News

The family is in talks with Leonard Green & Partners and, if selected, the firm would then have to shop a prospective deal to lenders, sources said.

The Nordstrom family would also have to approve a hefty investment, sources said.

As such, the odds of a deal getting done are just 50/50, one person familiar with the situation cautioned.

“It’s a really tough deal,” the source said.

Nordstrom shares after hours rose as much as 10.3 percent, to $49.91.

CNBC first reported on the talks.

The Nordstrom family, working with investment bank Moelis & Co., late last week sent pitch books to lenders, sources said.

What lenders like JPMorgan are willing to provide in underwritten financing will determine whether a bid is economically feasible, a source said. “Costs and terms associated with the debt will be more important than choosing an equity partner.”

The Nordstrom family is expected to invest close to $2 billion in equity in the bid and wants to be assured their investment is relatively safe, one source said.

In the capital structure, Nordstrom’s loans and much of Leonard Green’s investment will be senior to the Nordstrom family’s equity. Leonard Green’s investment will be partly in preferred shares, the source said.

The after-hours jump in the share price does not help matters.

“The Nordstrom stock price at $49 may be too close to where the family is willing to pay,” the source said, referring to the after-hours rise.

Leonard Green, too, is not committing to the deal until it knows what financing is available, the source said.

Steve Sadove, a former chief executive of Saks Fifth Avenue and founder of private equity firm JW Levin Management Partners said, “Leonard Green was involved in the original Neiman Marcus deal … they understand how much leverage they can put on a deal, and I’d be surprised if they overburdened Nordstrom with debt.”

If a deal happens, it will likely come together in the next four weeks or not at all, sources said.

“It’s impressive that the Nordstrom principals would want to double down on their business model when that model is being questioned,” Triangle Capital partner Richard Kestenbaum said.

Nordstrom announced Monday it was introducing Nordstrom Local, a smaller store that does not carry inventory but offers services like manicures and personal shopping advice.

Shares of the department store slumped on Monday in the wake of the Nordstrom Local news.

Shares of Nordstrom are down 6 percent this year.

Nordstrom said in June that members of the founding family were considering taking the struggling company private.

The family owns roughly 20 percent of the shares.

Leonard Green and Nordstrom declined to comment.

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