RETAILING: New Link for an Old Chain

New Link for an Old Chain

Four months after Japanese investors purchased a stake in New York City's Rockefeller Center, a Tokyo conglomerate has made a bid for the landmark across the street: Saks Fifth Avenue. In what would probably result in the biggest Japanese stake in American retailing, the Tobu department store conglomerate, together with the managers of Saks, has offered to purchase the Manhattan icon and the 45 other Saks stores from their London-based parent, B.A.T. Industries.

Although the size of the reportedly all-cash bid was not disclosed, industry analysts have put the price tag at more than $1 billion. Tobu plans to promote Saks...

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