Hummingbird is indirectly owned by Sycamore Partners, a New York-based private-equity fund focused on consumer and retail investments,which owns Hot Topic and Talbots. Sycamore has approximately $1 billion in capital under management as of June 2013, according to its Web site.
According to a Securities and Exchange Commission13D filing on Tuesday, Hummingbird acquired 6.25 million shares, or 7.96%, of Aeropostale's common stock.
The share acquisition, valued at about $53.9 million, is seen as "an attractive investment," and part of the investment activities on behalf of Sycamore Funds, the filings said.Aeropostale shares were rising 16.5% to $10.04. "The reporting persons may communicate with the issuer's management, members of the issuer's board of directors, other stockholders of the issuer and other relevant parties concerning the business, assets, capitalization, financial condition, operations, management, governance, strategy and future plans of the issuer," the filing said. Stifel analyst Richard Jaffe said he believes that Hummingbird will attempt to take the company private at a price of about $10 a share. "Given Sycamore Partners' track record, we believe Hummingbird will ultimately attempt to take Aeropostale private," Jaffe wrote in a research note. "In our opinion Stefan Kaluzny, co-founder of Sycamore Partners, is involved in the bid on ARO and his presence, in our opinion, adds credibility to the bid and in our estimation, the likelihood of its success."
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