Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. dropped 18.3 percent after the company said it was no longer for sale.
The shares were at $9.94 shortly before 10:00 a.m.
Abercrombie said it has ended discussions regarding a possible sale of the company. Executive chairman Arthur Martinez noted, “After a comprehensive review of all relevant factors, with the assistance of our financial advisor, the A&F board of directors determined that the best path to enhance value for stockholders is the rigorous execution of our business plan.
“We believe in the prospect for our business and the opportunities for our brands. We are generating solid [comparable-store] sales momentum at Hollister and continue to refine and implement strategies to position the Abercrombie brand for revitalized performance,” Martinez said.
The company in May said it had received several expressions of interest, and began preliminary discussions with the suitors.
Its competitor down the mall American Eagle Outfitters had expressed interest in Abercrombie, and then was said to be considering a partnership with Cerberus for the company. Express Inc. was also said to have considered a play for the company. More recently, Sycamore was taking a look at the company, and while it reportedly had put in an offer, the private equity firm has since gone on to ink a deal to acquire Staples Inc. for $6.9 billion.
Martinez emphasized the investments the company has made in marketing, omnichannel and other strategies to drive sales, along with a “relentless focus on operational efficiencies,” that contribute to the expectation for “improved trends beginning in the second half of the year.”
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