Talbots to be acquired by Sycamore Partners

Talbots Inc., a clothing brand known for classically styled apparel for middle-age women, has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of the private equity firm Sycamore Partners, the two companies said Thursday.

Under the agreement, Sycamore Partners plans to will acquire all the outstanding common stock of Talbots for $2.75 per share in cash. A previous offer from Sycamore Partners had called for $3.05 a share. But then negotiations stalled.

In the press release issued Thursday, the companies said that the current transaction is valued at about $369 million when debt is included. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

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Shares of Talbots closed Wednesday at $1.29.

Talbots has been negotiating with Sycamore Partners for some time. In December, the New York investment firm made an unsolicited offer to buy Talbots. Sycamore Partners, which already owned nearly 10 percent of Talbots outstanding shares, said it would buy the remaining stock for $3 a share. Talbots initially rejected the offer from Sycamore Partners, but in January, Talbots signed a confidentiality agreement with Sycamore to discuss a possible takeover.

Earlier this month, after much back and forth, it seemed as if the two sides would be unable to close a deal. Then came Thursday morning’s announcement when the two sides said they had been finally able to reach an agreement.

In a statement, Trudy Sullivan, Talbots outgoing chief executive, said: “We are pleased with the value this transaction delivers to our stockholders and believe that this is a positive development for all of our stakeholders. Sycamore Partners is a strong investor with substantial resources and expertise, and we look forward to operating as a private company under their ownership.”