Sunday, January 16, 2011

No Takers For J.Crew {except TPG & Leonard Green}

J.Crew's deal to go private is a hot topic discussed on this blog (refer here, here, here and here). The following is an article from Reuters (click here to read in its entirety):
J.Crew received no rival takeover bids: source
By Jessica Hall
January 16, 2011

J.Crew Group Inc received no rival takeover bids during its "go shop" period and will remain with its original $2.86 billion buyout offer from TPG and Leonard Green, a source familiar with the situation said on Sunday.

Sears Holdings Corp, Urban Outfitters Inc and at least two other private equity firms had been looking at the financial books of J.Crew during the "go shop" period that allowed J.Crew to solicit other suitors, sources previously told Reuters.
Well this is quite the news! I am happy to hear that both Sears and Urban Outfitters have no plans to acquire J.Crew. (I just didn't see it working out, not well at least.) As someone mentioned in another post, maybe Sears & UO were using the old "possible-bid-excuse" to check out J.Crew's financial figures. Sneaky. ;)

With just TPG & Leondard Green's offer on the table, J.Crew's CEO Mickey Drexler is breathing a bit easier now. (Of course, there are those pesky stockholder lawsuits to still worry about.)

What are your thoughts on this latest news? Do you think Urban Outfitters or Sears were ever really interested in acquiring J.Crew? Do you think going private is still the right move for J.Crew?


  1. Sears and UO were never interested in buying; they just wanted a peek at the books.

  2. So curious to see what happens next!

  3. Thank goodness. Can you imagine a 24 set tool set in Jenna's getaway bag? I mean, it's the one thing she. can't. leave. home. without.

  4. Christy, LOL. ....

    I'm not sure what to think or what to expect. I'm going to do what the market's doing and 'adopt a wait-and-see approach' :).

  5. UO's latest catalog had a lot of really cute and wearable things, altho the styling and photography were much much too busy. It was WORK to decipher those pages, but I'll continue to watch them. Also loved the recent collaboration (Men's) with J.Press. J.Press!

    As to JC, I predict that JC will continue to try very very hard to be effortlessly unpredictable.

    I imagine that after a flurry of paperwork to close the deal with TPG/LG, and after the expenses of this transaction are, um, dealt with, the usual suspects will receive bonuses, employee benefits will take a haircut, and a few leases and contracts will not be renewed.

    As to changes I would like to see, small and large, um, well, change does not happen overnight:

    I fear that the Copywriter from Space and the Web Site Designer from the Correspondence Course of 1998 have lifetime contracts. Nevertheless, I'd like to see web retailing and B&M retailing integrated.

    The sign on the door to the Bridal Store now reads "Wedding and Collection," or words to that effect, making me wonder just how profitable the gate-keeper approach to retailing has been. A mannequin in the window is wearing a grey & white feather minidress apparently made from Big Bird's Nana. I guess not all weddings are family events.

    This company is about clothing and retailing, and I would love to see some of graceful and elegant designs that teased us in the spring/resort lookbook put into production and made available.

    By available, I mean I'd like to see JC abandon the fiction of "only a few were made" or "limited sizes only." When the Jeweled Jardin Jacket popped back for the 3rd time, it popped back in a full range of sizes! Of course by that time, the season had passed and I had J.J.J. fatigue. When the sequin harem pants first appeared, sizes stopped at 6. OK, these were not meant for me, but then I saw a rack with a full range of sizes at Mad Ave. I'd like to see some respect for the customer.

    Quality control, rational reductions policy, wish list on web site..

    Oh, yes, and world peace.

  6. Christy: hee hee, too funny!

    WFF: ITA with what you're saying about changes I would like to see from JC. Please respect the customer! Don't expect us to be blindly follow what you say about quantity and prices!
    For the new year it's in my prayer list for JC to put better product description (i.e. % of fabric content, fit, etc.) than the repeated phrases of "we're obsessed, borrowed from the boys, we cannot get enough of, every women should have" and other rubbish.

    Overall, I'm also curious to see what changes will happen.

  7. This is all very interesting. Could it be that Sears and UO didn't make offers (as others did not also) because JC is in not as ship shape as all their striped tees imply. I agree with WFF, they need to clean up their act in so many areas that it's probably going to be a looonnggg time before we can tell an uptick in design, quality materials, wish list feature,etc. C'mon JC, in this economy can't you find some unemployed webmaster to transform your antiquated website? Oh, I'm sorry you say the big guys/girls might not get as big a bonus? Well, we can't let that happen! While all the dust and drama are settling, JC's customer base is continuing to migrate to other retailers, case in point Boden, their new catalog has (1),a new tailored section, (2), a couple of paragraphs about a new line, Boden Limited Edition and(3), a 20% off code on EVERY catalog. D@mn! What are they thinking! Anyway, this girl is not going to lose sleep over this, as I truly do hope MD doesn't lose his shirt in the lawsuit(s).

  8. I agree with David -- I am surprised that there wasn't at least one other offer to come out of the go shop period. I wonder if this ends up hurting J.Crew's sale price or if it has no effect.

  9. I agree with David, too. I think there's no interest in buying JC because the market knows they aren't doing well.


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