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Neiman Marcus For Sale?

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DALLAS (CBS 11) - Flagship luxury retailer Neiman Marcus could be bracing for its biggest sale, yet. According to published reports, the private equity firms that purchased the Dallas based retailer in 2005 are considering putting it up for sale, or taking the company public.

“Right now, it’s a good time,” says Bill Maxwell, a finance professor at SMU’s Cox School of Business. “They’ve got a good story, the stock market is up and so you want to capitalize on it.”

Maxwell’s finance classes have studied the company extensively. He says it’s not just reputation that’s keeping the retailer performing — it is managed very, very well.

“They have a team that’s proven they can produce, they also have aggressively grown their online business,” says Maxwell. “So they’re kind of out in front of some of their competitors and I think people would pay a premium for that.”

Private equity firms TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus LLC paid more than $5 billion dollars for the chain and experts say they are likely looking to recover some of that investment. Faced with a number of options, some experts say the IPO scenario looks the most attractive because the owners could get a return on their investment while still maintaining control of the company. And for customers, control matters because ownership dictates direction.

Asked about a possible change in ownership, frequent customer Justine Nevarez was only mildly interested. Her litmus test: inventory.

“As long as I’m getting my products, I’m pretty good with it,” says Nevarez. “As long as they keep all the names and all the purses, and all the jewelry, I’m good.”

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