Fortunoff, Lord & Taylor Buyout Goes Through

This deal was teased last week and has gone through. Back when NRDC originally bought Lord & Taylor, everyone thought it was purely a real estate deal--that NRDC would redevelop some sites, particularly Lord & Taylor's massive New York flagship, and sell others. But they've kept Lord & Taylor going and brought some new life to the brand and now are adding Fortunoff to the mix. And NRDC is saying again that they're not just in it for the real estate. They're going to inject cash into the franchise and keep it going.

Fortunoff, a shopping institution on Long Island for decades, said Monday it has filed for bankruptcy protection and agreed to be acquired by the owners of Lord & Taylor, the second change in ownership for the Westbury-based home furnishing and jewelry chain in two years.

Retail industry sources said last week that Fortunoff, struggling for the past few years, was in talks to be acquired.

In an announcement early Monday morning, Fortunoff said it has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and that it will be acquired by NRDC Equity Partners, the owner of the venerable Lord & Taylor department store.

Richard Baker, chairman of Lord & Taylor and chief executive of NRDC, said in a statement that NRDC plans to invest $100 million into the Fortunoff business "with investments being made in both existing and additional stores."


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