November 18, 2005, 12:00 AM

Liz Claiborne offers to acquire J. Jill for $366 million in cash

Liz Claiborne Inc., today announced it has made a written offer to acquire all outstanding shares of The J. Jill Group Inc. for $366 million in cash.

 

Liz Claiborne Inc. today announced it has made a written offer to acquire all outstanding shares of The J. Jill Group Inc. for $366 million in cash. The offer is based on $18 per share, representing a premium in excess of 40% to J. Jill’s closing share price of $12.79 on Nov. 17.

Liz Claiborne, No. 193 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, with an estimated $22.62 million in 2004 web sales, made the offer in a letter to the J. Jill board of directors. “We believe this premium offer represents a compelling opportunity to create value for both J. Jill and Liz Claiborne shareholders,” Paul R. Charron, Liz Claiborne chairman and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “Beyond providing J. Jill shareholders immediate liquidity at a significant premium, this strategic combination would enable us to rejuvenate J. Jill’s well-regarded but underperforming brand.”

In response to the offer, J. Jill’s board of directors issued a statement asking shareholders to take no action on the proposal until it meets with financial and legal advisors to discuss the offer. Peter J. Solomon Co. is J. Jill’s financial advisors and Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Foley Hoad LLP are acting as legal advisors.

J. Jill Group, ranked No. 87 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, with $80.56 million in 2004 web sales, is a multi-channel specialty retailer of women’s apparel, including accessories and footwear. Liz Claiborne designs and markets women’s and men’s fashion apparel and accessories. Combined, the two companies would rank No. 74 in the Guide with $103.18 million in 2004 sales.

 

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