Japanese company raises bid for retailer
Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. has increased its offer to acquire Barneys New York to $950 million after Dubai-based investment group Istithmar matched Fast’s original $900 million offer, Barneys owner Jones Apparel Group Inc. said Sunday
Fast Retailing, the operator of Japan’s popular Uniqlo casual clothing chain, announced its original offer for the luxury retailer July 5, topping an earlier $825 million bid from Istithmar that Jones Apparel had agreed to in June.
A statement from Jones Apparel said Istithmar now has two business days to make an offer that Jones’ board determines is “at least as favorable to Jones as the amended Fast Retailing offer.”
If Jones Apparel ends up accepting the amended Fast Retailing offer, Jones would have to pay Istithmar a breakup fee of $22.7 million.
Fast Retailing first told Jones it was interested in acquiring Barneys last fall. Acquiring Barneys would add to its geographic and market diversification, Fast Retailing said.
New York Times to use smaller page format
The New York Times is moving to a smaller format starting today, cutting 1.5 inches from its width and moving to what is becoming a newspaper industry standard of 12 inches.
The change, which the company originally announced a year ago, will result in cost savings of about $10 million per year, spokeswoman Diane McNulty said.
Several other major newspapers have already adopted the 12-inch format, including The Wall Street Journal, published by Dow Jones & Co., which went to the new size at the beginning of the year; The Washington Post; and the Los Angeles Times, published by Tribune Co.
The change at The New York Times was originally expected to occur in mid-2008, but McNulty said the company was able to get its presses reconfigured sooner than anticipated.
The look of the paper will remain essentially the same, she said, though the headlines will become slightly smaller. The news columns will also become slightly narrower.
The change will result in the space for news being reduced by about 10 percent, but the paper will make up for about half of that decline by adding extra pages. Additional pages may also be added from time to time to accommodate major news stories, she said.