Retail Detail. More on the GAP Front. The Hiring of Goldman Sachs Leads to Speculation That They May Be For Sale.

January 10, 2007 • Shopping

Struggling Gap Inc. saw it’s shares up as much as 11% on Monday when word leaked they had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Apparently Gap, with a market capitalization of more than $15
billion, hired Goldman last month, but it remains unclear exactly what the
bank was hired to do.

San Francisco-based Gap, also operates the Old Navy and Banana
Republic chains. It is no secret they been the subject
of much takeover speculation.

Reportedly, the company’s shares are worth
less than half of what they were in early 2000 and its management team,
led by Chief Executive Paul Pressler, is under pressure to turn the
company around.

There is renewed speculation
on Wall Street that the tenure of Pressler and other senior management
might be at an end. "Strategic
alternatives usually means the company is for sale," said Pacific
Growth Equities analyst Christine Chen. "Or they could conceivably
separate the segments."

Possible outcomes for
Gap include a sale to a strategic buyer, a leveraged buyout, or
spinning off Gap’s brands, said Susquehanna Financial analyst Thomas

Gap shares rose as much as 11% on Monday — the largest one-day
percentage gain in five years — before closing up 7.3%, or $1.37, at


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