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June 13 (Reuters) - Upscale retailer Neiman Marcus Group said it had terminated any talks regarding a partial or full sale of the company, nearly three months after embarking on a plan seeking strategic alternatives.
The news comes days after the Wall Street Journal reported that talks between Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson's Bay Co and Neiman Marcus regarding a potential combination had stalled. (http://on.wsj.com/2reiaQm)
"While looking ahead, we know challenges remain, but we are encouraged by the strategies we have in place to improve our operational efficiencies and performance," Chief Executive Karen Katz said on a post-earnings call.
Neiman, struggling to seek relief from a swelling debt load, hired investment bank Lazard Ltd to bolster its balance sheet, Reuters reported in March, as the company continued to struggle with lackluster demand in the face of stiff competition from Amazon.com Inc and fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara.
Much of Neiman Marcus's debt load stems from its $6 billion leveraged buyout in 2013, when its current owners, Ares Management LP and Canadian public pension fund CPPIB, acquired it from other private equity firms.
Neiman Marcus had total liabilities of $6.4 billion, including $1.2 billion of deferred income taxes according to its latest annual filing.
The company on Tuesday reported its fourth straight quarterly loss, and posted a nearly 5 percent dip in same-store sales for the third quarter ending April 29.
Retailers have struggled to cope with changes in consumer tastes as shoppers increasingly shop online or spend on travel and big-ticket home improvement items and less on apparel and accessories.
Earlier this year Dallas-based Neiman Marcus also shelved plans for an initial public offering. (Reporting by Karina Dsouza in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Shounak Dasgupta)