Back in November, J.Crew announced plans to go private with a $2.8 billion sale to private equity firms TPG Group and Leonard Green & Partners LP. The company was then promptly sued by shareholders, who protested that J.Crew CEO Millard Drexler hadn't shopped the company around enough, thus failing to secure them a good price for their stocks. To appease them, Drexler put J.Crew up for a "go-shop" period that would allow other potential buyers to make bids. Sears and Urban Outfitters reportedly showed interest, but failed to make offers by the January 15 bidding deadline. The retailers did, however, get to look through lots of J.Crew's private financial information, which was perhaps the whole point of their "interest" in the company anyway.
So, for a few days it seemed like TPG was going to buy J.Crew after all, until the retailer announced this morning that they've extended their deadline for rival bids to February 15. The extension is part of J.Crew's settlement with a particularly obstinate shareholder lawsuit pending in Delaware, which challenged the $16 million profit that CEO Mickey Drexler stands to earn for the TPG sale. Moreover, "shareholders of record" will be able to call out Drexler on his purported shadiness by voting at a "special meeting" on the planned merger scheduled for March 1.
J. Crew Extends Deadline for Rival Bids [WWD]