Women’s fashion retailer J.Jill filed for an initial public offering (IPO) Friday, seeking to raise $100 million in the offering, but noting that the figure is a placeholder and could change. This isn't the first time J.Jill has filed for an IPO; the company went public under a different name in the 1990s, rapidly expanding in the early- and mid-2000s. If the company goes public, J.Jill plans to add between 10 to 15 stores per year, while also closing outlets that don’t perform well.
Total Retail’s Take: Friday’s filing wasn't a complete surprise; media reports last year suggested J.Jill planned to go public. After all, despite many tumultuous years, the company has been performing well. In 2006, J.Jill was acquired by Talbots for $517 million. As the retail market suffered during the financial crisis, within three years, Talbots unloaded J.Jill to private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $75 million. In 2011, Golden Gate sold a majority stake in the company to a division of Arcapita, a Bahrain-based investment firm. J.Jill’s value had rebounded by 2015 when TowerBrook Capital Partners bought it for $396 million. Under TowerBrook, J.Jill has quickly driven up profits. Between 2014 and 2016, sales grew about 23 percent, from $456 million to $562 million. The company’s profits more than tripled, from about $4.5 million to nearly $14.3 million over the same period.