Women's retailer

New York & Co.


sold a 10 million share initial offering for $17 a share Wednesday night, raising about $112 million for itself and catapulting

Bear Stearns

( BSC) to a spiffy payday.

New York & Co., which owns about 475 mostly mall-based stores, raised the top end of the deal's price talk to $17 on Wednesday. The company sold two-thirds of the transaction's 10 million shares, with the rest coming from existing shareholders, mostly Bear Stearns.

Bear, the New York investment bank, bought New York & Co. from



in 2002 for about $65 million, and by some estimates is sitting with about $640 million worth of stock based on the company's overall market capitalization, of which it controls about 75%.

Bear Stearns' stock closed Wednesday at $94.22, just under its all-time high. The stock was driven up last week by unconfirmed takeover speculation. The company reported a 10% decline in third-quarter earnings on Sept. 22, although the results were well ahead of analyst expectations.