Shares of Saks (SKS) jumped 8.2% Friday and continued to tick higher in after-hours trading after a report surfaced that Starwood Capital’s Barry Sternlicht, who created the W Hotels chain, submitted a competing bid for the luxury retailer.
The New York Post said Sternlicht could be the leading bidder, as the real-estate mogul envisions keeping Saks CEO Steve Sadove in his current role.
Last month, reports indicated that Lord & Taylor parent Hudson’s Bay was interested in taking over the Saks Fifth Avenue owner. The Post said Sternlicht and Hudson’s Bay both offered around $17 to $18 a share, or $2.5 billion.
Sternlicht also plans to separate Saks’ real-estate holdings from the company, a move that could force Saks to rent the stores it currently owns. Saks owns about two-thirds of its stores, and its real-estate holdings alone are estimated to be worth at least $1.5 billion.
The report added that a third bidder is believed to be a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund, most likely based in Qatar.
The newspaper previously reported that Qatar's investment fund was in advanced talks to acquire Neiman Marcus in the spring. Neiman Marcus filed last month for an initial public offering.
Goldman Sachs (GS) is said to be overseeing the sale process.
Shares closed Friday at $15.89 before climbing another 11 cents in late trading.