Nearly a year after rumors began swirling that Neiman Marcus was in the market for a buyer in order to get out from a $5 billion debt load, the luxury department store has reportedly hired an investment bank to boost its bottom line.
Reuters, citing sources familiar with the matter, reports that Neiman Marcus — which also owns Bergdorf Goodman — hired Lazard Ltd. to explore debt restructuring options.
While the sources note that Neiman Marcus is not in immediate risk of bankruptcy, the move could provide the company with relief from its reported $4.8 billion debt acquired during a 2013 buyout.
Neiman Marcus tells the Dallas Morning News in a statement that it wouldn’t comment on rumors, but that the retail company will “routinely retain consultants and advisors to evaluate opportunities to create long-term value for our associates, customers and other stakeholders and will continue to do so moving forward.”
Neiman Marcus, like other retailers, has been struggling to attract customers to its brick-and-mortar stores in the face of online competitors like Amazon. The retailer currently operates 42 Neiman Marcus stores, two Bergdorf Goodman locations, and 27 Last Call clearance centers.
The hiring of an investment bank comes just months after the company withdrew its initial public offering, Reuters reports. The company first announced it would seek an IPO in May 2015, but delayed the process.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the company’s credit rating was also lowered by Standard & Poor’s last month, citing that the company’s “capital structure is unsustainable over the long term.”