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Baugur appoints NM Rothschild to advise on Saks deal

Baugur, the Icelandic investor has hired NM Rothschild and Finance to advise on its potential purchase of US department store group Saks Fifth Avenue.

Baugur is plotting a takeover of Saks as revealed in exclusively in Drapers October 20. The Icelandic firm is now Saks' second-largest shareholder with an 8.5% stake, and earlier this month it admitted it was exploring the possibility of a takeover of the US department store.

Baugur is in talks with Dubai-based retailer Landmark Group about making a joint bid for the US department store group. Scottish entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter is also thought to be a member of the bid consortium.

The potential purchase of Saks would provide a platform for Baugur to roll out its other investments to the US. For instance it could use the department stores to launch some of its Mosaic Fashions brands in the country via a concession model. Mosaic Fashions is known to be keen to export its Coast and Karen Millen brands across the pond and has already held talks with Saks rival Bloomingdales about potential partnerships in the US.

The largest Saks shareholder is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

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