Hedge fund urges Jones Group to scale back - WSJ

April 11 Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:56pm EDT

April 11 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Barington Capital Group is urging fashion company Jones Group Inc to sell parts of its portfolio, the Wall Street Journal reported citing a person familiar with the matter.

Barington Group, which owns about 2 percent of the company's stock, also suggested other options such as cutting costs and adding directors to the board, the journal reported.

The paper reported that Jones confirmed its Chief Executive Wesley Card met with Barington at Barington's request, earlier this month.

The New York-based company behind brands such as Nine West and Jones New York had reported a higher-than-expected profit for the holiday quarter in February, as sales of its shoes and jeans to U.S. department stores picked up.

Jones had then said that as part of its efforts to improve margins, it would be careful about building up too much inventory in 2013.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Barington urged Jones to hire financial advisers to focus on its core and emerging brands.

The company in recent years has benefited from its shift to higher-end brands with the acquisition of names such as Stuart Weitzman and Kurt Geiger and forecast revenue above analysts' estimates for 2013.

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