- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Lord & Taylor department store chain has been spared from closure, at least for now.

Federated Department Stores Inc. announced yesterday it plans to sell the chain to NRDC Equity Partners, a Purchase, N.Y., private equity firm, for $1.195 billion.

NRDC said it would continue to operate the 48-store chain, which has locations on the East Coast and in the Midwest, including eight in the Washington area.

“Lord & Taylor has been an iconic national brand for 180 years. We believe there is significant opportunity to continue the revitalization of the brand begun in 2003 by [Chief Executive Officer] Jane Elfers and her management team,” said Richard Baker, president of NRDC.

NRDC, a partnership of Apollo Real Estate Advisors and National Realty & Development, is reviewing whether any of Lord & Taylor’s stores will be sold.

Federated Department Stores announced in January that it planned to sell the Lord & Taylor chain following the August acquisition of May Department Stores Co. Federated will turn most of the other former May stores, including Hecht’s, into Macy’s locations in September.

“While Lord & Taylor does not fit with Federated’s strategic focus on building the nationwide Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s brands, it is a well-known … specialty retailer with a great name, many outstanding locations and an experienced management team,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Federated’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.

NRDC purchases retail and lodging companies. Earlier this year, it bought Linens ‘n Things and has previously bid on Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory and Hudson’s Bay Co. in Canada.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

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