Nordstrom sells Faconnable brand for $210 million

NEW YORK - Nordstrom Inc. said Thursday it has agreed to sell its Faconnable brand to a Lebanon-based, family-owned company for $210 million as the high-end department store chain focuses on its main business.

As part of the agreement with M1 Group, Nordstrom said it will continue to buy Faconnable merchandise for at least the next three years and will still offer the label in its stores.

M1 Group is a diversified business based in Beirut that focuses mainly on telecom, energy and real estate activities.

The transaction is expected to close at the end of August. The company did not disclose any other financial terms of the deal.

Nordstrom said that Faconnable employees based in the United States and in Nice, France, will be offered jobs at M1 once the deal closes. Several U.S. employees will stay with Nordstrom for about a year to help with the transition, it said.

"This move allows Nordstrom to focus on its core business while continuing to offer the Faconnable brand to our customers and allows Faconnable the opportunity to grow independently," Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom, said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Azmi Mikati, chief executive of M1 Group, said that he believes Faconnable has the potential to become a global brand and the company intends to invest in it for the long term to break into new markets and create new product lines.

"Faconnable represents for us the cornerstone in the development of our strategy aimed at investing in luxury products with a big potential for growth," Mikati said.

Nordstrom purchased Faconnable for $169 million in 2000. The line has been sold in the United States at Nordstrom stores and Nordstrom-operated Faconnable boutiques since 1989, where it became one of the company's top-selling labels.