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Monday, August 25, 2014

Activist investor Engine Capital presses Ann Taylor for sale-WSJ, (NYSE: ANN)

Activist Investor Engine Capital LP wants women's apparel retailer Ann Inc to sell itself, which it believes could fetch around $2.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Engine Capital, which along with a partner controls more than 1 percent of Ann stock, believes a strategic or private equity buyer would be willing to pay between $50 and $55 a share for the women's retailer, the Journal reported. ( Inc's shares closed at $37.52 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.Ann, the parent of the Ann Taylor and Loft brands, last week reported a 2.3 percent fall in second-quarter same-store sales, hurt by lower traffic at its Loft chain and said it expected third-quarter same-store sales growth to be flat to slightly negative.The investors have been in talks with Ann's management for a few weeks but plan to launch a public campaign because they don't believe the company is moving fast enough, the newspaper reported.

ANN INC., through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a specialty retailer of women?s apparel, shoes and accessories sold primarily under the Ann Taylor and LOFT brands. Shares of ANN fell by 3.32% or $-1.29/share to $37.52. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $30.71 and as high as $43.61. On average, 667511 shares of ANN exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2298744.