February 06, 2006
Talbots & J. Jill: A Match Made in the Mall
Posted by Christine Hurt

Jjill After talks with both Talbot's and Liz Claiborne, J. Jill announced today that it will be acquired by Talbot's for a price that represents a 25% market premium.  When J. Jill began talks with Claiborne last November, shares were trading at $12.  Shares now trade at $19, and Talbot's will pay a little over $24 per share.  Both stores will continue as separate retail clothing outlets.  In M&A today we were talking about what a second bidder in the market for corporate control can do to the resulting price, and I guess this merger could be Exhibit A.  Claiborne, in fact, pulled out of the bidding because the company felt that the price had gone too high.

Talbots2

The merger is subject to approval.  Surely the DOJ/FTC can see that the stores operating in two distinct markets:  upscale clothing for women who want to look casually professional and upscale clothing for women who want to look professionally casual.

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