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JAPANESE FIRM MAY BUY BLOOMINGDALE’S CHAIN

SHARE JAPANESE FIRM MAY BUY BLOOMINGDALE’S CHAIN

A major Japanese department store operator and a consortium of U.S. and European investors are negotiating to buy New York's Bloomingdale's chain from its Canadian owner, news reports said Thursday.

Negotiations with Tokyu Department Store Co. are in the final stages and an agreement could be reached by early November, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a leading economic journal, and Kyodo News Service reported.The purchase price is estimated at between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion, the reports said. Tokyu officials were not available for comment.

Bloomingdale's is a major department store based in New York. It operates 17 sales outlets in the northeastern United States and has annual sales of about $1.2 billion.