Report: Starwood Capital joins bidding for Saks

New York -- Starwood Capital Group LLC, the investment firm headed by real estate developer Barry Sternlicht, has joined the bidding for Saks Inc., according to a report by the New York Post. Starwood Capital invests in retail, office and residential real estate.

The bid by Starwood is worth about $2.5 billion, or $17-$18 per share, according to the report. The amount is roughly equal to a previously existing bid from Canadian retail conglomerate Hudson’s Bay, which also owns the Lord & Taylor department store chain.

The New York Post reports a third bidder, most likely a sovereign-wealth fund from the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar, is also in the running to purchase Saks.

Sternlicht may be the preferred bidder of Saks ownership because he would let CEO Steve Sadove retain his position, according to the report. Saks has not commented publicly on the Sternlicht bid.