January 4, 2018 / 11:18 AM / a year ago

Neiman Marcus to replace Karen Katz with new CEO-WSJ

Jan 4 (Reuters) - Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group Ltd is preparing to appoint a new a chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Karen Katz, who has served as chief executive since 2010, is stepping aside and will be replaced by an outsider, but she will retain her board seat, the people told the financial newspaper.

The company has been hunting for a new leader for some time, some of the people told the Wall Street Journal. Several current CEOs spurned Neiman Marcus' approaches about taking its top spot, the paper reported. (on.wsj.com/2Aor56f)

Neiman Marcus was not immediately available for comment.

The up-market chain has been struggling with a nearly $5 billion debt load mainly due to its leveraged buyout in 2013, when Ares and Canadian public pension fund CPPIB acquired it from other private equity firms.

Seeking ways to cut debt, the retailer in March last year had explored options to change its capital structure or sell itself, but three months later abandoned that plan as its debt pile made any acquisition hard to structure.

At the time, the company had been in talks with Canadian retailer Hudson Bay Co for a full or partial sale, but those talks subsequently fell apart due to Neiman Marcus’ high debt load.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto

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