Tiffany's Sparkle May Have Blinded Investcorp

A decade is a lifetime in the buyout business, and most of the outfits that engineered the big retail deals of the 1980s have long since turned to other things. But Investcorp, the Bahrain-based investment bank with hefty assets and a low profile, has continued to snap up retailers. Founded in 1982 by Chase Manhattan banker Nemir A. Kirdar, the firm did its first big deal when it bought Tiffany & Co. in 1984 and took it public in 1987 at a profit of more than $100 million. Since then, Investcorp has bought retailers with an ardor that would make Robert Campeau blush.

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