New York private firm may buyout Chico’s

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- The Wall Street Journal is reporting big news that could impact one of Southwest Florida’s biggest companies.

Chico’s, which was founded on Sanibel Island, may be sold to New York Private Firm Sycamore Partners.

The Wall Street Journal reports if this leveraged-buyout goes through, it could be the largest one of the year. Chico’s employs more than 1500 people at its Fort Myers headquarters, and operates more than 1500 stores and outlets nationwide and in Canada.

Wall Street welcomed the news of the potential buyout, as shares of Chico’s spiked in after-hours trading.

WINK News spoke to an FGCU economics professor about what the deal could mean for the company and Southwest Florida. Gary Jackson says, “I think if the sale goes through there will be some changes for sure. It may be that there’s different brands that the leveraged-buyout company has, other brands so some cross-synergies between the different brands and companies. So most likely if they do get purchased there will be some changes but they could be for the better as well.”

It is not a done deal yet and there’s no guarantee it will go through. Another deal Sycamore was recently negotiating fell apart when the buyout firm had trouble lining up funding on acceptable terms.

Sycamore Partners already owns brands including Aeropostale, Coldwater Creek, Hot Topic, Jones New York, Kasper, Nine West and Talbots.

WINK News reached out to both companies, but neither would comment on the potential deal.

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