Redcats a Possible Suitor for Lands' End, J. Crew

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Cataloger Redcats USA would consider acquiring either Lands' End or J. Crew if the price were right, chairman/CEO Eric Faintreny said yesterday.


"It is official that we are looking for acquisitions in the U.S.," he said.


Redcats, which is owned by French retail giant PPR SA, operates catalogs such as Chadwick's of Boston; Lerner; Jessica London; Lane Bryant; Roaman's; King Size; and Brylane. In January, the company launched Intimate Promise, a catalog featuring lingerie for plus-size women.


Earlier this week, fashion trade publication Women's Wear Daily reported that J. Crew, which is owned by Texas Pacific Group, is considering an initial public offering for next year, and that Sears, Roebuck & Co. is shopping around Lands' End. The asking price for Lands' End is reportedly $1.2 billion -- down from the $1.9 billion Sears paid for the company in 2002.


Redcats already does a significant amount of its business in apparel, so the company would prefer to acquire a catalog and/or Internet business outside of this category, Faintreny said.


However, with "Lands' End being one of the major home-shopping operators in the U.S., even though it doesn't directly fit our strategy, we need to at least have a look at what's going on," he said.


A J. Crew deal is more farfetched, he said.


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