Shares of Gymboree (NASDAQ:GYMB) jumped more than 3% Tuesday morning after a new report indicated the children’s clothing chain has hired Goldman Sachs to begin an auction of the company.
According to the New York Post, Gymboree retained the investment bank last month to conduct a formal auction and big-name buyout firms are lining up for the sale, which could reach $1 billion.
Last week Gymboree’s shares surged after The Wall Street Journal reported Gymboree is weighing a possible sale and had begun to put out feelers for potential buyers.
Leon Black’s Apollo Management is expected to be a leading bidder after the private equity firm recently made an unsolicited approach, the Post reported. Other PE firms have reportedly expressed interest, including Bain Capital, KKR, Apax Partners and Irving Place Capital.
The apparent auction comes as Gymboree’s management team is frustrated that despite increasing sales and profits, its stock price has not responded, the Post reported. Shares of Gymboree were essentially flat over the past year, but rose 3.5% to $49.91 Tuesday morning.
However, Gymboree management is demanding a takeover price of $55 to $60 a share, which would give the company a $1.5 billion market cap, the Post reported.