Companies look to buy Saks Fifth Avenue as luxury sales remain strong despite recessionCompanies in both the U.S. and Britain have noticed that affluent American consumers' spending habits don't seem too disrupted by the economic downturn - and they've got their eyes on Saks Fifth Avenue as a way to take advantage of the group's resilience.

A series of major mergers and acquisitions - including Google's buyout of a number of small software companies and the Comcast-NBCU deal - has companies considering hopping on board with another major player to stay afloat in a difficult economy. According to the Wall Street Journal, this phenomenon may be responsible for a recent surge in Saks' stock.

The WSJ reports that the luxury department store's shares have jumped 21 percent to $8 a share, after having rocketed 34 percent higher to $8.85 earlier on speculation that a group of American and British private-equity houses are considering purchasing the retailer for $11 a share - or $1.7 billion.

The Journal also reports that luxury sales in general have fared well during the recession, indicating that white-collar workers - whose unemployment rate is only 5 percent, compared to the national average of 9.5 percent - are continuing to spend.

Another prominent merger, the United-Continental deal, was recently approved after a Department of Justice investigation concluded it did not raise antitrust concerns. The merger will create the world's largest airline.
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