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Fast Retailing pulls out of talks to buy J.Crew

Japan's Fast Retailing, parent of apparel chain Uniqlo, is no longer in talks to buy U.S. clothing retailer J.Crew Group from its private equity owners, three people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The talks ended in recent weeks, the people said, adding that an initial public offering for J.Crew is still on the table.

It is possible that the talks with Fast Retailing may be revived, one of the people said.

Models pose at the J.Crew presentation during Fashion Week, New York.
Getty Images
Models pose at the J.Crew presentation during Fashion Week, New York.

(Read more: Is Fast Retailing getting too ambitious?)

J.Crew, which was taken private by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners for $2.8 billion in 2011, hoped to fetch at least $5 billion in a sale, Reuters and others previously reported.

J.Crew and Fast Retailing could not be reached for comment. TPG and Leonard Green declined to comment.

Run by well-known executive Mickey Drexler, J.Crew is a multi-channel retailer of women's, men's and children's apparel, shoes and accessories. As of February, the company operated 330 retail stores, including 257 J.Crew retail stores, eight crewcuts stores and 65 Madewell stores, according to its website.

In the fiscal year ended February 1, J.Crew's revenues increased 9 percent to more than $2.4 billion while adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose to as much as $371 million from $360 million in the prior year.

(Read more: From 5th Ave. to Oxford St., retail's global problem)

Fast Retailing also owns U.S. apparel brands Theory and J Brand. The company started trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange in early March.

Chief Executive Tadashi Yanai has set a lofty goal of making

his company the world's top apparel retailer by 2020 by quintupling revenue to 5 trillion yen ($49 billion), overtaking Zara's Inditex, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M)and Gap.

While Uniqlo's global expansion has been driven primarily by Asia so far, it plans to accelerate a push into the United States, adding 20-30 shops a year to reach 100 outlets in several years.

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