Qatar said to bid for Saks Fifth Avenue

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Qatar is believed to be the Middle East sovereign wealth fund among the bidders hoping to buy US luxury department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue, according to reports in the US media.

The unnamed fund, which the New York Post newspaper said was most likely to be Qatar, is part of three investors which are aiming to gain ownership of the popular chain.

The report said the Qataris were interested in buying rival chain Neiman Marcus earlier this year but the deal fell through.

Other bidders in the race to acquire Saks include Barry Sternlicht, the New York real estate mogul who created the W Hotels chain and Hudson’s Bay, the Canadian owner of department store Lord & Taylor.

Sternlicht’s bid is most likely to be the most successful, the report added.

Founded in 1898 in New York, Saks Fifth Avenue also has stores in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE.

Saks’ shares rose 8 percent on Friday on reports of the latest bidders.

Overall, the retail giant’s shares are up 51 percent this year.

Qatar already owns Harrods, the luxury London department store, and is planning to expand the retail brand into the hospitality sector.

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