PETRIE STILL IN TALKS WITH INVESTORS ON SALE OF ITS RETAIL OPERATIONS

NEW YORK — In response to inquiries from vendors, Petrie Stores Corp. said Monday that it is continuing “substantive negotiations” to sell its retail operations to an investor group led by E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. In June, the parties said they were conducting “exclusive negotiations.” The parties also stated that if a deal was not reached by July 25, either side could terminate the exclusivity agreement.
In a statement Monday, Petrie said its board of directors will meet at the end of this week to consider extending the agreement to negotiate with Warburg, which is a large venture banking and investment counseling business, and the group of investors until mid-August.
“From my viewpoint, because of the complexity of the transaction, coupled with summer vacations, everything is continuing to move forward, but on a slightly slower schedule,” said Gilbert Harrison, who is the chairman of Financo, which is advising the group on the deal. “No one has identified any roadblocks to completion of this transaction,” Harrison continued.
The group includes Verna Gibson, who is a former president of The Limited Stores, and Petrie’s senior management. Petrie originally announced that it had plans to dispose of its approximately 1,700 stores in April. At the time, the company said it had held preliminary discussions with three potential buyers, but declined to name them.

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