NEW YORK — Gearing up to expand its retail operations, J. Jill Group has agreed to sell 1.7 million shares of newly issued common stock to selected institutional investors for $30.8 million.
The purchase price of $18 a share was established on Jan. 23 and represents an 18 percent discount from J. Jill’s closing price of $21.25 on the Nasdaq that day. The transactions, for which U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray served as placement agent, are expected to close by Feb. 7.
In addition to opening stores and expanding its infrastructure to support them, J. Jill said it would use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes. As of Sept. 23, the end of its third quarter, J. Jill had approximately 10.4 million shares of common stock outstanding.
In a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 16, J. Jill said it had 22 retail stores in operation and expects to open an additional 25 in 2001.
It pegged the potential U.S. market for its stores at between 300 and 500 units and said it would target locations at upscale malls around the country.

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