J. Crew Mum on Potential IPO

Though “The Wall Street Journal” reported this week that New York-based cataloger/retailer J. Crew might file for an initial public offering (IPO) later this year, the company is staying silent.

J. Crew will not comment on rumor or speculation, says a spokesperson.

J. Crew, currently led by former Gap chief Mickey Drexler, was purchased in 1997 by Texas Pacific, the same firm that agreed to acquire (with Warburg Pincus) cataloger/retailer Neiman Marcus this week.

In its annual report, J. Crew said revenue for the year ended Jan. 29 was $778.3 million, up 18% from $660.6 million the previous year. Direct sales increased 14%, to $198.5 million from $173.5 million.

Industry professionals say that Texas Pacific would be wise to explore an IPO of J. Crew this year due to heightened interest among retail transactions. “The IPO market is still ripe for most sectors of the economy, including retail and multichannel marketers,” explains Mike Petsky, CEO of New York investment bank Petsky Prunier. “That will certainly help J. Crew’s IPO story right now. [As a multichannel merchant it] will achieve liquidity before other retail franchises.”

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