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Exclusive: Nordstrom family offers preferential terms to clinch buyout partner - sources

The Nordstrom store is seen at a mall in a Denver suburb May 16, 2008.

Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - The group of Nordstrom Inc family members seeking to take the eponymous U.S. department store operator private is offering preferential terms to potential equity partners willing to fund the buyout, people familiar with the matter said.

The Nordstrom family's decision to offer these concessions underscores the apprehension of investors over leveraged buyouts of department store chains, as private equity-owned peer Neiman Marcus Group Inc now struggles with its debt pile amid the rise of internet shopping and changing consumer tastes.

The family's move has been successful in reinvigorating talks with potential partners, five sources said this week. Leonard Green & Partners LP, Apollo Global Management LLC and KKR & Co LLP are among the private equity firms in talks with the Nordstrom family members, according to the sources.

In its bid to raise around $1 billion in equity from outside investors, the Nordstrom family has also reached out to sovereign...