Bed Bath & Beyond, the struggling home goods retailer, is in talks with private equity firm Sycamore Partners to sell assets, including its Buy Buy Baby stores, as part of a possible bankruptcy filing, people familiar with the matter said. The dealer is also in talks with other suitors about possible transactions.
Buy Buy Baby’s decline has not been as sharp as its parent’s, reports the DealBook newsletter. Bed Bath & Beyond overexpanded and struggled to remain competitive, but Buy Buy Baby has maintained a strong position in a clearly defined market and the drop in sales has been less marked. The infant and children̵[ads1]7;s chain generated about $1 billion in sales in 2020, according to an investor presentation.
Bed Bath & Beyond this month said it was looking for new funding after a disappointing holiday season, including a sale of itself in pieces or as a whole. Discussions with various parties continue and may not result in an agreement.
The people with knowledge of the conversations spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversations were confidential. A spokeswoman for Bed Bath & Beyond reiterated that several avenues “are being explored.” A spokesman for Sycamore declined to comment.
Sycamore knows the distressed retail market well. The firm has acquired a number of retailers, including big-box supplier Staples, department store Belk and women’s clothing chain Talbots. Stefan Kaluzny, one of Sycamore’s co-founders, has many years of experience and relationships in the retail and consumer sectors. His interest in parts of Bed Bath & Beyond could herald the kind of deal-making expected this year if the traditional financing market remains firm.
In the wake of Bed Bath & Beyond’s bankruptcy filing this month, the stock has taken off. In shades of the meme stock frenzy of 2021, shares have more than tripled over the past five trading sessions.
Jordyn Holman contributed reporting.