(Bloomberg) -- Apollo Global Management Inc. is in talks to provide debt financing to support Saks Fifth Avenue’s potential acquisition of rival Neiman Marcus, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The alternative asset manager has discussed offering a loan of at least $1 billion to support the deal, said one of the people, all of whom requested anonymity discussing confidential information. The financing, which may involve other lenders, isn’t final and the plans may change, the people said.

Representatives for Apollo and Saks declined to comment.

The owners of Saks are looking to bolster the cash portion of an offer to buy the rival department-store chain, Bloomberg News reported last week. Saks’ flagship store at 611 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan was valued at $3.62 billion and could be used as collateral for the financing.

Read More: Saks Flagship Appraised at $3.6 Billion as It Renews Neiman Push

The deal would bring together two of America’s biggest high-end retailers after years of on-and-off courtship. The appraisal of Saks’ iconic New York store, whose annual holiday window displays attract locals and tourists, is a testament to heightened demand for high-end real estate in the area in recent months.

Apollo is the largest alternative credit manager, with about $480 billion of such assets. It originated about $100 billion of debt last year, with a goal of growing that total by 50% by 2026. 

--With assistance from Jeannette Neumann.

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