It looks like another major retailer is going private. Twoprivate-equity firms, TPG Group and Leonard Green & Partners,are offering to acquire J Crew and its 220 stores for $2.86 billion,or $43.50 per share. The proposal follows the recent acquisition of Gymboree for about $1.8billion.

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The TPG-Leonard Green deal could get run up. Other suitors haveuntil Jan. 15 to make a better offer.

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J Crew is one of the success stories of the recession, and CEOMillard Drexler, is one of the most respected figures in the retailindustry.

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Its most recent quarter wasn't the retailer's best, though.J Crew's same-store sales fell 1%, and net incomedropped in its Q3 fell to $37.8 million from $43.9 million duringthe same year-ago period.

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We're not implying that J Crew is in trouble, but the fashionbusiness just seems so cyclical. Is this group or, or anotherplayer that steps in, paying too much for a chain that doesn't havevery many stores and could be at the mercy of a fickleconsumer?

Of course, its limited number of stores and two smaller newconcepts, Madewell andcrewcuts,could mean growth potential. What do you think?

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