By  on August 2, 2011

The Talbots Inc. on Tuesday fired a salvo at Sycamore Partners, with its board “unanimously” adopting a stockholder rights plan in response to the private equity buyout firm’s acquisition of a 9.9 percent stake in the specialty chain.

The stockholder rights plan, often referred to as a “poison pill,” is intended to make the takeover of the targeted firm via the acquisition of additional shares less palatable to the potential bidder.

Talbots’ newly adopted plan distributes one common stock purchase right as a dividend on each outstanding share of the company’s common stock. The rights under the plan become exercisable if any person or group acquires 10 percent or more of Talbots common stock, or, in the case of any person or group that currently owns 10 percent or more of the common stock, upon the acquisition of a specified additional amount of shares by such person or group. The rights expire on Aug. 1, 2012.

The company said the board adopted the plan in response to a “recent rapid accumulation of a significant percentage” of the firm’s outstanding common stock.

As reported, private equity buyout firm Sycamore Partners in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday disclosed it spent $21.6 million to buy nearly 7 million shares, or 9.9 percent, of Talbots common stock between June 6 through July 28.

Shares of Talbots on Tuesday closed at $3.64, down 10.6 percent, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange. That’s compared with a 17.6 percent rise in the stock price Monday, when the shares closed at $4.07, on the possibility of a buyout by Sycamore Partners.

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