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Carter Hawley Spinoff Will Use Neiman-Marcus Name

March 14, 1987|MARTHA GROVES | Times Staff Writer

The fabled Neiman-Marcus name will be attached to the specialty retail company being spun off by Carter Hawley Hale Stores this summer.

The decision to capitalize on one of the best-known names in retailing was disclosed Friday at the annual meeting of General Cinema shareholders in Boston by Richard A. Smith, chairman and chief executive of the movie theater operator and beverage bottler.

General Cinema, which took a large stake in Carter Hawley nearly three years ago to rescue it from a hostile takeover effort by the Limited, will gain control of the specialty store company as part of a restructuring announced by Los Angeles-based Carter Hawley last December.

Shares of the new company, to be known as Neiman-Marcus Group, will probably start trading on the New York Stock Exchange by midsummer, Smith said. It will include Neiman-Marcus, Contempo Casuals and the single Bergdorf Goodman store on Fifth Avenue in New York.

Once those units are split off, Carter Hawley will operate only its department store divisions, which include the Broadway chain in Southern California. However, some of its executives are expected to become members of Neiman-Marcus Group's board.

Smith's announcement caught officials at Carter Hawley off-guard because it was made in a "quiet period," during which the company must file documents about the plan with the Securities and Exchange Commission. During a "quiet period," a company may not make public statements about the contents of a filing.

"We're not going to make any announcements about the specialty store group until the proxy is ready," a Carter Hawley spokesman said. The proxy materials are expected to be released in late May at the earliest.

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