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Nordstrom family moves ahead with finding a private equity buyer

  • A private equity owner could help the company restructure
  • Bankers, lawyers and an outside PR firm hired to advise

The Nordstrom family is moving ahead with finding a private equity buyer for the Seattle-based department store chain, sources said.

A special committee of the board has been formed and bankers, lawyers and an outside public relations firm have been hired to help in the task, the sources said. The Nordstrom family owns about 30 percent of the company.

The company said earlier this month that the family had begun to explore a take-private deal, though they had not yet made a proposal. Retailers are struggling with an industry-wide slowdown in sales that has hit shares of major department store operators. Nordstrom shares are up 13.8 percent since the closing price on June 7, the day before the company announced the possible deal. They are up 3.9 year to date.

A private equity owner might help Nordstrom restructure. Members of the family pursuing a deal include Co-Presidents Blake, Peter and Erik Nordstrom, the great-grandchildren of the co-founder.