American Eagle Outfitters Works on Bid for Abercrombie & Fitch
American Eagle Outfitters is working with private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management on a bid for Abercrombie & Fitch, sources familiar with the matter have told The Wall Street Journal. This news comes after Abercrombie confirmed to CNBC earlier this month that it was in preliminary discussions with several interested buyers. At the time, apparel retailer Express was believed to be interested in making an offer for the company, in addition to American Eagle. A number of parties, including other buyout firms and Express, are still involved in the bidding process, the Journal reported.
Total Retail's Take: Like so many of its mall-based, teen apparel competitors, Abercrombie & Fitch has struggled in recent years as online sellers eat into its business. Abercrombie announced earlier this month that it had hired an investment banker to assess takeover interest, of which there has been plenty. Competitive retailers, including American Eagle and Express, perhaps see this as an opportunity to get the brand for cheap, and then leverage its assets, including brick-and-mortar stores, to grow their respective brands. Sources tell the Journal that a deal for Abercrombie could be struck within about a month.