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Sycamore Partners offers to buy retailer Chico's for $408 million

Sycamore Partners offered to buy women’s apparel retailer Chico’s FAS for $408 million, or $3.50 per share.

Why it matters: The price isn't just 5.4% lower than where Chico's stock closed on Thursday or 12% lower than where it closed on Friday. It's 18.6% less than the $4.30 per share offer that Chico's already rejected from Sycamore. Looks like someone's been eyeing the clearance rack.

  • Also: Sycamore disclosed a 6.6% position in Chico's, making it the New York-based company's fourth-largest outside shareholder. These "footholds" have become common for Sycamore, although still uncommon for private equity at-large.
  • The bottom line: "Chico’s net income plunged by almost two-thirds last fiscal year, while its stock has tumbled 60% in the past 12 months. ... Still, Chico’s has advantages. Unlike some of its peers left with unmanageable debt following leveraged buyouts, the company owes just $57.5 million, leaving more resources available for a turnaround," write Bloomberg's Lauren Coleman-Lochner and Jordyn Holman.

Go deeper: 7 major retailers have filed for bankruptcy in 2019