Sycamore Partners Looking to Buy Retailer Chico’s FAS

Feb 10 2015 | 6:39pm ET

Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners is considering a deal to purchase women’s apparel retailer Chico’s FAS.

The deal could be the largest leveraged buyout of 2015, in excess of $3 billion. Shares of Chico’s FAS soared more than 10% in post-market hours on Tuesday.

Although no deal is imminent, the Wall Street Journal reports that the PE firm is attempting to lineup funding to make a purchase possible. Such a deal would be a headliner given the declining popularity of public-to-private takeovers. Last year, PE-buyouts totaled just $23 billion in public takeover deals, according to Dealogic.

Chico’s currently has a market capitalization of $2.65 billion. Given currently deal premiums, Sycamore would likely need a little more than $3 billion to make it happen. According to Dealogic, no leveraged buyouts have come close to that territory over the first six weeks of the year.  

In December, BC Partners led the largest recent PE-buyout. The firm led a group of investors to take PetSmart Inc. private for roughly $8.2 billion.

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