Jones Group Soars on Possible Sale

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Jones Group ( JNY) surged 10% on reports that it hired Citigroup ( C) to explore the possibility of a sale.

Shares hit a new 52-week-high on Monday of $17 after Reuters confirmed the news by citing three people familiar with the matter. Jones Group is parent company to a myriad of brands including Nine West, Anne Klein and Jones New York.

At last check the stock was up 9.7% to $16.06 on trading volume that was more than three times its average three-month trading volume.

The news was first reported on Friday by Dealreporter.

Apparently Jones Group is in the early stages of assessing interest in a sale. The company is reaching out to potential bidders in private equity and elsewhere, Reuters said.

"Like most companies, Jones Group has ongoing relationships with a wide range of advisors," the company said in an emailed statement. "As a matter of practice, the company does not share the specifics of these relationships."

In May, the company hired James Mitarotonda of Barington Capital Group, which owned 2.3% of its common stock, to its board of directors. The activist hedge fund has been pressuring Jones to focus on its shoe brands, which include Nine West, Stuart Weitzman, Easy Spirit and Bandolino, and away from its non-core clothing brands, Reuters says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

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