Express and Sycamore Partners End Talks

by MR Magazine Staff

Express Sycamore Partners has ceased its pursuit of the retail chain Express. The two parties announced today that “despite having worked together in good faith towards a transaction over the past several months, discussions regarding Sycamore Partners’ expressed interest in acquiring Express have been terminated due to the unavailability of financing on commercially acceptable terms.”

The talks began in July when Sycamore, a 9.9 percent shareholder, approached the Express board about a possible takeover. Express adopted a poison pill shareholder rights plan, but its stock shot up after the news reached Wall Street.

Sycamore Partners has investments in several retail chains, including Aeropostale, and has acquired Coldwater Creek and Hot Topic.

Express reported third-quarter comparable sales down 5 percent and net sales down 1 percent to $497.6 million in December.

Express, a single-branded men’s and women’s retailer, targets consumers in their 20s. The company operates more than 600 stores, including factory outlets, in the U.S. and Canada. It opened 29 new factory outlets last year.