NEW YORK — Aeropostale filed a Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week seeking an initial public offering that could net the teen-tween retailer nearly $182 million in funding.

The filing confirms reports in these pages last week that the former R.H. Macy & Co. specialty spinoff was planning an IPO. Its stock symbol will be ARO.

Julian Geiger, chairman and chief executive of the 278-unit chain, declined to comment.

The mall-based specialty retailer was a private label within the Macy’s organization before the launching of Aeropostale stores.

An IPO of its shares, it said, could generate about $200 million in capital, less an estimated registration fee of $18,400.

Aeropostale, which is based here, plans to open roughly 80 new stores in fiscal 2002 in both existing and new markets, and continue to open new stores at a comparable pace in future years, the filing said. Proceeds from the IPO would be used to redeem all outstanding preferred stock and pay related dividends with the remainder employed for store openings, working capital and general corporate purposes.

In its most recent fiscal year, ended Aug. 4, 2001, Aeropostale’s net income declined 0.4 percent to $11.3 million while sales expanded 42.8 percent to $304.8 million. Comparable-store sales grew 8.7 percent.

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