Between Aug. 23 and Sept. 11, Sycamore Partners affiliate Hummingbird LLC bought 6.25 million Aeropostale shares at prices ranging from $8.2723 to $8.7564 each, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“We believe Hummingbird will attempt to take the company private,” Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe said in a research note.
A spokesman for Sycamore declined to comment on the firm’s plans for Aeropostale.
The retailer’s shares were trading at $10.06 at mid-morning, giving the company a market value of $789.6 million. Earlier in the session they reached as high as $10.29.
Sycamore, which has $1 billion under management, earlier this year took teen retailer Hot Topic Inc private for $600 million, and last year bought women’s apparel chain Talbots Inc for $391 million, including debt.
Aeropostale last month reported a decline in second-quarter sales and forecast a deep third-quarter loss, pointing to a highly promotional environment that has forced it to cut prices. Its efforts to offer more fashionable merchandise beyond its hoodies, jeans and t-shirts have fallen flat.
Phil Wahba is a reporter for Reuters News in New York