J. Jill mulls ways to hike share value

Shares of J. Jill Group Inc., specialty retailer of women’s apparel, rose 4 percent following yesterday’s announcement by the company’s board of directors that it would explore strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including the possible sale of the company.

Company officials said the exploration of strategic alternatives does not mean a sale is imminent, and word of ongoing developments will not be released prior to the board reaching a decision.

Yesterday’s announcement came only 17 days after women’s retailer Liz Claiborne offered to purchase the company for $18 a share, or $366 million. The offer was introduced after J. Jill officials rejected a previous offer of $17 a share.

Liz Claiborne officials yesterday said they were pleased J. Jill will be exploring strategic alternatives.

The Peter J. Solomon Company will serve as financial adviser to review strategic alternatives , while Kirkland and Elliss LLP and Foley Hoag LLP will serve as legal advisers.

The Quincy, Mass.-based J. Jill’s products are marketed to women over 35 via retail stores, catalogs and over the Internet. The company employs more than 325 workers at its catalog distribution center in Tilton, N.H. – TRACIE STONE

Categories: News