Retailer Ann Signs Non-Disclosure Agreement with Golden Gate

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Women's apparel retailer Ann Inc (ANN) said it had entered into a confidentiality agreement with private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, a month after some hedge funds pushed the company to sell itself.

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Ann's shares were up about 7.4 percent at $39.50 in after market trading.

Ann said on Tuesday that it had engaged in "a collaborative, constructive dialog" with Golden Gate.

Golden Gate, which had a 9.56 percent stake in the retailer as of Oct. 14, said "it would be beneficial to continue discussions on a more detailed basis."

The investment firm had said in March that it believed Ann's stock was significantly undervalued.

Ann said in August that it expected third-quarter same-store sales growth to be flat to slightly negative.

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The company's second-quarter same store sales fell 2.3 percent from a year earlier, hurt by weaker traffic at its Loft chain.

Last month, hedge funds Red Alder LLC and Engine Capital urged Ann to consider selling itself to a private equity firm or another apparel company, stepping up pressure on the company to improve its performance.

(Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)