Report: Fast Retailing Backs Out of J.Crew Buyout

This news follows word that Japan's Fast Retailing thought J.Crew's $5 billion asking price was too high.
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Eliza Brooke
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This news follows word that Japan's Fast Retailing thought J.Crew's $5 billion asking price was too high.
Photo: Brian Ach / Getty

Photo: Brian Ach / Getty

Just as quickly as word of a potential buyout for J.Crew surfaced, the deal has fallen apart. The Wall Street Journal reports that Japan's Fast Retailing, the parent company of Uniqlo, has pulled out of negotiations to buy the American retailer from current owners TPG and Leonard Green.

This follows word that Fast Retailing felt J.Crew's $5 billion asking price was too high. J.Crew is now open to pursue the IPO that had been on the table before Fast Retailing came into the picture, or to find another suitor, like South Korea's E-Land (though E-Land has denied it's interested). There is a chance that the deal with Fast Retailing could come back into play, a source told Reuters.

Representatives from J.Crew and Fast Retailing did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

J.Crew was last acquired by TPG and Leonard Green in 2011 for $2.8 billion.

Fast Retailing has big aspirations for global expansion, and buying J.Crew would have given it an immediate foothold in the U.S. With a series of stops and starts in entering international markets, J.Crew would have likewise benefited from Fast Retailing's stance in Asia.