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Sears and Urban Outfitters weigh up possible bid for J Crew

US retail giant Sears and US retail group Urban Outfitters, which operates the Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie chains, are said to be considering a possible bid for American casualwear business J Crew.

J Crew agreed a deal to sell the business to private equity groups TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners for $3bn (£1.9bn) in November, however the retailer can solicit other bids until January 15.

Last month it was claimed J Crew agreed a deal to sell the business to TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners despite interest from other parties because chairman and chief executive Millard Drexler would stay in his role if TPG was involved.

Neither Sears nor Urban Outfitters have indicated they would submit a counter bid and they could instead be taking the opportunity to examine a rival’s finances. It has also been reported that at least two other private equity firms were also looking at J Crew’s financial records.

J Crew faces more than a dozen lawsuits from shareholders questioning whether Drexler is getting a fair price for the acquisition. He also negotiated the potential sale of the business for seven weeks before the announcement of the deal.

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