Department store chain The Neiman Marcus Group Inc is to be sold to an investment group consisting of Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus LLC for approximately $5.1 billion.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, signed by Neiman Marcus's board of directors, Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus will acquire all of the outstanding Class A and Class B shares of The Neiman Marcus Group for $100.00 per share in cash. Each of the investors will own equal stakes in the company upon completion of the transaction.

Burt Tansky, president and chief executive officer of The Neiman Marcus Group, said that it would be "business as usual" after the transaction, and that the new partners would help the company to continue its focus on "luxury leadership, financial discipline, quality, and growth."

Completion of the deal is contingent on regulatory review and approval by the shareholders of The Neiman Marcus Group and is expected to occur by 1 November, 2005.

The Neiman Marcus Group Inc's operations include the Specialty Retail Stores segment and the Direct Marketing segment. The Specialty Retail Stores segment consists primarily of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores. The Direct Marketing segment conducts both print catalogue and online operations under the Neiman Marcus, Horchow and Bergdorf Goodman brand names.

Texas Pacific Group is one of the world's leading private investment firms, managing over $15bn in assets.

Warburg Pincus has been a leading private equity investor since 1971.