More change is coming to Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF). Well, maybe. After yesterday’s news reports that it had hired Goldman Sachs to seek strategic alternatives, shares shot up to $38 from $35 on the news because “strategic alternatives” generally means “seeking a sale.” The move is on pressure from activist investing fund Relational Investors, and CNBC has reported that Relational is now likely to seek seat on A&F’s board of directors.
What is driving A&F’s activist efforts is that shares have been down almost 40% over the last year. Shares closed up 1.6% at $38.54 on Thursday and the 52-week trading range is $28.64 to $77.49.
At a value of almost $3.2, the question that has to be asked is how many buyers from private equity can or would step to buy this company. Then there is the question as to whether or not A&F would be worth more or less if it was parceled out in pieces. The retail apparel company has its flagship Abercrombie & Fitch brand plus Abercrombie Kids, as well as the Hollister brand and the girls’ retail brand called Gilly Hicks.
JON C. OGG