Less than two years ago, Dubai’s Istithmar World PJSC bought Barneys for $942.3 million. But now, as business slows in the face of a floundering luxury market, the fund (down 15 percent itself) is reportedly looking to sell the retailer. Istithmar doesn't want to sell Barneys for any less than it paid for it, but the sales pitch won't be easy. A luxury-market consultant says if Istithmar needs cash and is in a hurry to sell, it'll pay the price, but if it can "be patient" the pay off will come. That sounds optimistic for These Times. Maybe a little too optimistic. He added that it's unlikely a buyer would pay full price for Barneys, given the economic climate and the May departure of chief executive Howard Socol. Well, Barneys will carry Michelle Obama's Isabel Toledo Inauguration Day outfit in March. That's got to be worth something, right?
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