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Abercrombie & Fitch confirms it is in talks with several interested buyers

  • The teen apparel company is evaluating takeover interest from other retailers with the help of investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners, sources have told Reuters.
  • Those interested could include rivals Express and American Eagle, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
  • Struggling to stay on top of ever-changing fashion trends, Abercrombie's shares were at a 17-year low before rumors began to surface Tuesday evening.
Pedestrians are reflected in the window of an Abercrombie & Fitch store in New York.
Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Pedestrians are reflected in the window of an Abercrombie & Fitch store in New York.

After a day of speculation, Abercrombie & Fitch has confirmed that it is in preliminary discussions with several interested buyers.

"There can be no assurance these discussions will lead to a definitive agreement or that a transaction will be consummated," the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday, reports of a potential takeover of the struggling teen apparel retailer sent shares of skyrocketing.

Express is interested in either a merger of equals or a stock-and-cash takeover of the company, one person told the Journal.

American Eagle now boasts more than 1,000 brick-and-mortar locations, compared to Abercrombie's roughly 900, and around 650 for Express.

However, Abercrombie has said it will not renew leases for around 60 of its stores this year.

Abercrombie, Express, American Eagle and Perella Weinberg all declined to comment on the speculation.

Abercrombie is reportedly evaluating this latest takeover interest with the help of investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners, sources have also told Reuters.

As the brand has fought to stay on top of ever-changing fashion trends, Abercrombie's shares sat at a 17-year low before these takeover reports began surfacing on Tuesday.

The company's operating income shrunk from $72.8 million in 2015 to $15.2 million last year, as fast-fashion competitors and competition from online retailers weighed on its profitability.

Other teen clothing retailers Aeropostale, Wet Seal and American Apparel have all filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within the past year.

With Wednesday's gains, shares of Abercrombie's stock have tanked more than 40 percent over the past 12 months but are now up about 18 percent for the year-to-date period.

ANF 5-day performance

—CNBC's Lauren Thomas, Sarah Whitten and Reuters contributed to this report.

Read the full report from the Wall Street Journal.