Burkle seeks control of Barneys New York-WSJ

* Burkle proposed $50 mln loan for 80 pct stake-WSJ

* Current owner Istithmar left with 20 pct stake

LOS ANGELES, Jan 28 (BestGrowthStock) – Supermarket mogul Ron
Burkle and his investment vehicle Yucaipa Cos has proposed
taking a controlling stake in U.S. luxury retail chain Barneys
New York in exchange for a $50 million cash infusion, a source
familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

A Yucaipa spokesman could not be immediately reached for
comment. Details of the proposal were laid out in a Dec. 11
letter from Burkle to the former chief executive of Dubai’s
Istithmar World Capital, which owns the retail chain, the
Journal reported.

Last November, Yucaipa purchased a large amount of Barneys
debt from Citigroup Inc (C.N: ) at about 60 cents on the dollar,
the Journal said.

The reported loan deal would leave Istithmar World Capital
with a 20 percent stake in the chain, known for its pricey duds
and semi-annual warehouse sales.

Istithmar hired restructuring advisory firm Perella
Weinberg last year to help it mull options to shore up its
financial position.

The luxury chain, with stores in cities like New York and
Chicago, has struggled in the recession as even wealthy
consumers cut back on spending.

Istithmar, a unit of Dubai World [DBWLD.UL], bought Barneys
for $942 million from Jones Apparel Group (JNY.N: ) in 2007. It
provided some additional funding to the chain in April of 2009,
allowing it to pay for its shipments for the rest of the year.

Investment Basics
(Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Bernard Orr)

Burkle seeks control of Barneys New York-WSJ