By Joanne Bladd
Mid-market women's retailer operates 225 stores, catalogue business across the United States
Arcapita, the Bahrain Islamic investment firm, said Tuesday it acquired a majority stake in US retail chain J. Jill from San Francisco-based investment giant Golden Gate Capital.
The company said Golden Gate would retain a minority stake in the women’s fashion label, but declined to give a value for the deal.
The retail chain, which operates 225 stores across the US supported by a catalogue business, was acquired for about $67m in 2009 from Talbots Inc.
J. Jill saw revenues of $390m in fiscal 2010, Arcapita said.
In a statement, the Bahrain firm hinted the deal may be one of several planned in the US.
“Although we have directed more attention to the emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia and China…our deal teams are now beginning to report a much more fertile environment for new deals in the US,” said CEO Atif Abdulmalik.
Arcapita holds existing stakes in retail brands Loehmann’s, Caribou Coffee and Church’s Chicken.
The Bahrain company in April exited its investment in Indian healthcare group MedPlus Health Services but said it maintained a positive outlook on India for investment opportunities.
Arcapita was badly hit by the financial crisis as it struggled to exit its investments due to global investor woes and its fee income from raising fresh funds in the Gulf Arab region collapsed. It expects to exit more investments to allow it to return to profit. The firm also has a $1.1bn loan due in April 2012.
In March, AssetCo Plc, the largest outsourcing partner to the London Fire Brigade, rejected what it called an opportunistic takeover approach from the Islamic investment firm.