Saks Shares Soar on Takeover Rumors

SaksSaks (SKS) shares got a big boost in early trading Tuesday, soaring nearly 30% on takeover speculation. Britain's Daily Mail Online reported that according to rumors out of Manhattan, "a private equity consortium, comprising both U.S. and U.K. players, has for months been stalking Saks."

The Daily Mail further said, "Due diligence is said to be almost complete and a cash bid of $1.7 billion (£1.1billion), or $11 a share, could be tabled soon" -- that's a 66.6% premium over Saks shares Monday's close of $6.60. On Wednesday morning, shares were trading at around $7.70 a share.

The Saks Fifth Avenue store operator recently posted a much narrower second-quarter loss than analysts estimated as demand for luxury goods increased and the company discounted less items.

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According to Reuters, Saks' largest shareholders include Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, with a 15.9% stake, and Italian businessman Diego Della Valle, who has a 9.3% stake. No doubt, they will want top dollar for their investment and may complicate the bidding process.

Private equity investors are on the prowl for appropriate big and small acquisitions in the coming months, according to the Daily Mail, as there's more than £150 billion ($231 billion) of private equity cash lying around.
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