(Adds investor details, background, updates share price)
June 12 Private equity firm Sycamore Partners on
Thursday said it was interested in acquiring apparel retailer
Express Inc, after disclosing a 9.9 percent stake that
made it the largest shareholder in the company.
Express's shares rose as much as 32.8 percent to $18.00 in
extended trading. The stock closed down nearly 3 percent at
$13.55 in regular trading on Thursday, valuing the company at
"We would like to perform confirmatory due diligence to
determine a definitive valuation of the company," Sycamore said
in a letter to the company's board. (link.reuters.com/huv99v)
The private equity firm said it would take 30 days to
complete its due diligence, obtain financing commitments and
submit its offer, according to a regulatory filing.
Express, which sells formal and casual wear as well as
accessories at its stores, did not return calls seeking comment
beyond regular business hours.
The company, formerly a division of L Brands Inc,
last month cut its full-year earnings outlook and warned that it
could post a loss in the current quarter due to high inventory
and slow traffic.
Due to weak sales, the retailer plans to shut about 50 of
its stores, which are located mostly in shopping malls, over the
next 36 months.
If Sycamore buys Express, it will not be the first time the
company will be owned by a private equity firm.
In 2007, Golden Gate took Express private and brought the
company back on the market three years later.
Before Sycamore's stake, Invesco Advisers Inc was the
largest shareholder in Express with a stake of about 6 percent
stake as of March 31, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The Vangaurd Group, Wellington Management Co LLP and
BlackRock Institutional Trust Co are among Express's other top
Express shares have fallen 36.5 percent in the last 12
(Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Savio