Activist hedge fund Clinton Group said it was exploring financing options for a possible takeover of women's apparel retailer Wet Seal Inc.

Clinton Group had a 7.78 percent stake in Wet Seal as of Dec. 17, the company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. (http://r.reuters.com/tyn55v)

Wet Seal's shares rose as much as 6 percent to $2.77 on the Nasdaq in early trading.