By  on March 21, 2006

Jones Apparel Group Inc. announced in a written statement released mid-morning on Tuesday that its board of directors is exploring a possible sale of the entire company.

Jones said it is not considering divesting any of its businesses or divisions. The company added that it would not disclose developments on the possible sale until a definitive agreement is approved by its board of directors or until a decision has been made not to proceed with a sale of the company. The company has retained Goldman Sachs & Co. as a financial advisor.

Shares in Jones were recently up 14.1 percent at $35.17 on above-average volume of 2.3 million trades. Trading in the shares was halted early in Tuesday’s New York Stock Exchange session when the stock was at $33.69. The stock was halted awaiting news from the company.

WWD first reported in today’s edition that Jones was said to be exploring several strategic options, including a possible sale of the $5 billion firm. Last week, speculation increased that the firm was shopping its $1.9 billion Nine West division, WWD had reported.

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