Express Inc. (EXPR) Shares Rocket On Sycamore Stake

Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners said Thursday it wants to acquire clothing chain Express Inc. (EXPR), adding in a 13D-SEC filing that it has already amassed a 9.9 percent stake in the company.

Shares in Express spiked more than 22% in late-session trading following the news.

In a letter to Express’s board, Sycamore said it would like to perform due diligence to determine a takeover price for the struggling retailer. The investment firm said it would submit an offer within 30 days of getting access to Express’s books.

“We believe that this process will result in an acquisition proposal that benefits all of the company’s constituents, including its stockholders..” Stefan Kaluzny, Sycamore’s managing director, said [via Bloomberg] in the letter. “Given the strategic and operational challenges faced by specialty retailers generally and the company in particular, a fully financed, binding, all-cash offer to acquire the company would be a valuable alternative for the company’s board of directors and stockholders to consider.”

Express responded by adopting a “Rights Plan”, a measure designed to protect shareholders from unfair takeover attempts. The plan, which has a 10% trigger, doesn’t prevent Express Inc. from considering or accepting an offer, the company said.

As of Thursday’s close the Columbus, Ohio-based Express had a market cap of $1.14 billion. Before the spike higher, EXPR shares were down more than 38% y/y.

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