Jones Apparel Group Inc on Thursday said it is buying Barneys New York Inc for $400 million.

As part of the purchase New York-based Jones Apparel will pay $294.3 million in cash for Barneys stock, equating to a price of $19 per share.

In addition, Barneys will conduct a tender offer for $106 million of senior secured notes due 2008, with Jones Apparel supplying the funds to be paid out in the offer.

Luxury fashion and accessories retailer Barneys operates stores in 21 locations and generated net sales of $444.2 million and operating income of $32.8 million for the twelve months ended 31 July 2004.

Howard Socol, Barneys' chairman, president and chief executive officer, will continue to head the company and lead its current expansion drive.

Peter Boneparth, president and chief executive officer, Jones Apparel Group, said: "We are excited about bringing this famous brand into our portfolio."

He added that the Barneys acquisition will complement the company's existing retail mix which includes brands such as Jones New York, Evan-Picone, Gloria Vanderbilt, Nine West, and Anne Klein.

"Barneys provides the next level of diversification by introducing a new competency in luxury specialty retailing. With an inherent diversified portfolio comprised of its own brand, as well as numerous other brands from new designers and classic design houses, Barneys provides entry into the high-growth, resilient luxury goods market."

Retail will now comprise 24 per cent (up from 17 per cent) of Jones Apparel's projected 2005 net revenues. Revenues distributed through the specialty retail channel will now compose 28 per cent (up from 21 per cent).