* Gymboree hires Goldman to conduct auction
* Apollo approached company about a buyout - NYPost
(New sourcing, updates stock price)
Oct 5 Children's apparel retailer Gymboree
GYMB.O has hired Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to begin a formal
auction of the company, which could fetch more than $1 billion,
sources familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.
The sources declined to be identified by name because they
were not authorized to speak with the media.
Gymboree, which runs retail stores and play centers, hired
Goldman last month after it was approached by at least two
firms -- one of which was Apollo Management [APOLO.UL],
according to the New York Post.
Billionaire Leon Black's Apollo Management -- whose recent
unsolicited approach to Gymboree helped spur the auction that's
now under way, according to one source -- is expected to be
among the leading bidders, the newspaper said.
Other buyout firms such as Bain Capital, KKR (KKR.N), Apax
Partners and Irving Place Capital have also shown interest in
the San Francisco-based retailer, the paper said.
Reports of the company exploring a sale, last week, sent
Gymboree's stock up 21 percent. [ID:nSGE6900J0]
Shares of Gymboree jumped $1.70, or 3.5 percent, to $49.94
percent in morning trading on Tuesday.
Gymboree, Apollo Management, Apax Partners, and KKR could
not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters. Goldman
Sachs declined to comment.
(Reporting by Mansi Dutta in Bangalore, Jessica Hall in
Philadelphia and Megan Davies in New York; Editing by Louise
Heavens, Dave Zimmerman)