Among the other losing bidders for Saks were General Cinema, parent of the Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman chains, and Joseph Brooks, head of the Ann Taylor stores. Dillard Department Stores of Little Rock, Ark., also was reportedly in the running.
BAT said it expects the Saks deal to close in about 10 weeks, and analysts didn't see any serious financial or regulatory hurdles that could thwart the agreement. Barnard, however, said the deal could deepen concerns in Washington and among the public about the rising tide of foreign investment in U.S. assets.
Barnard and other analysts dismissed the notion that Investcorp's Middle Eastern ties would hurt its image with American customers or suppliers, noting the company's success with other U.S. investments.
September, 1989: BAT announces plans to sell Saks, plus its sister retailing operations and certain other assets, as part of a strategy to thwart an unsolicited takeover attempt by an investment group led by the Anglo-French financier Sir James Goldsmith.
March-April, 1990: Saks management announces that it has submitted a buyout bid for the chain. The proposal is made jointly with Tobu Department Store Co. of Japan.
BAT announces the sale of its Breuner's furniture retail and rental subsidiaries. Negotiations continue for the sale of Ivey's, a specialty department store chain with 23 stores in the Carolinas and Florida.
BAT announces Monday that it has agreed to sell Saks' sister retailer, Chicago-based Marshall Field & Co., to Dayton Hudson Corp. for $1.04 billion. Meanwhile, the Goldsmith group drops its $22-billion bid, but BAT says it will continue its restructuring and asset sales.
Wednesday: BAT announces that it has accepted a bid of $1.5 billion for Saks from Investcorp, an international investment bank with a wide range of retail and other holdings.