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NRDC Equity Partners, the private investment firm controlled by Richard Baker and his family, is expected to win a bidding process to acquire the bankrupt Galeria in Germany, according to sources.

NRDC is said to be partnering with Bernd Beetz, the former chief executive officer of Coty, in the deal. A winning bid could be revealed as soon as Monday, the sources said.

The New York-based NRDC is led by Jack Baker, the son of Richard Baker, and Lucas Evans. NRDC invests in retail, real estate and consumer brands.

NRDC is a separate and unrelated business from the retail group HBC.

Richard Baker is CEO and governor of HBC, which is the majority owner of Saks, the luxury e-commerce site; The Bay e-commerce marketplace in Canada, and Saks Off 5th, the upscale off-price e-commerce company. HBC also wholly owns the Hudson’s Bay, the operating company for Hudson’s Bay’s brick-and-mortar stores in Canada, as well as SFA, which operates Saks Fifth Avenue stores, and O5, which operates the Saks Off 5th stores.

In addition to potentially acquiring Galeria, there has been widespread speculation that Baker is close to a deal to acquire the Neiman Marcus Group, through HBC.

Representatives from NRDC could not be reached.

Richard Baker

Richard Baker

Patrick Macleod/WWD

Galeria filed for bankruptcy after its Austrian parent Signa, headed by René Benko, collapsed in a financial crisis.

HBC in 2016 bought Kaufhof in Germany for 2.6 billion euros and sold it to René Benko’s Vienna-based Signa Group for 3.8 billion euros in 2019, leading to the merger of Kaufhof and Signa’s Karstadt retail business, forming Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof. HBC reported at the time that it made a $1 billion cash profit on the transaction.

During the pandemic, Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof went bankrupt, its real estate was sold off, and now the government of Germany is selling the business out of bankruptcy. The business operates 90 stores in Germany, generating 2.2 billion euros in sales annually.

Other investments made by NRDC Equity Partners include FoundRae, the fine jewelry collection founded by Beth Hutchens in 2015. NRDC made that investment last year.



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