Barneys NY, Brought To You By Dubai
The investment arm of the Dubai government is close to an agreement to purchase [Barneys New York](http://www.barneys.com/b/;jsessionid=edcxntf6INSj87_bSVQmr). According to sources involved in the talks, the Jones Apparel Group is [nearing a deal](http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/business/14barney.html?_r=2&th&emc=th&oref=slogin&oref=slogin) to sell the iconic chain to Istithma investments for a whopping $825 million price tag—about the price of 13 must-have handbags and six pairs of spectacular pumps at the upscale department store. Though the deal is reported to be in is its final stages and could come as early next week, the New York Times cautions that the [talks may collapse](http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/14/business/14barney.html?_r=2&th&emc=th&oref=slogin&oref=slogin).
The Jones Apparel conglomerate, which also owns Anne Klein, Jones New York and Nine West, purchased the luxury store in 2004 for [$400 million]. Talk about a mark-up! Istithmar has been steadily buying up prominent properties throughout the city. They [already own](http://www.istithmar.ae/insvt_project_short.php?invsectid=4) the ritzy Mandarin Oriental hotel in the Time Warner Center, as well as properties on Park Avenue and in Times Square.
And a fun Barneys fact: Did you know that the store was founded by a guy names Barney Pressman in 1923 with money raised from pawning off his wife’s engagement ring? Well, now you do.
In related American-chain-stores-and-the-Middle-East-News, Gap Inc. is evidently planning to open [100+ Gap and Banana Republic] stores in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The struggling company already has franchise agreements in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, and is hoping that the expansion will help boost consistently [dismal sales.](http://money.cnn.com/2007/05/24/news/companies/bc.gap.results.reut/index.htm?postversion=2007052417) Unless, of course, someone chooses to open up an H&M or Old Navy down the block.
Photo courtesy of [Joi on Flickr]
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