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Abercrombie & Fitch admits sale/merger talks with suitors, Express, American Eagle named by sour

More solid news on possible Abercrombie & Fitch Co takeover/merger talks Wednesday. There are at least two interested buyers, according to people familiar, and include rivals Express and American Eagle Outfitters.

A&F also admitted it has received expressions of interest and is in preliminary discussions with several parties regarding a potential transaction, without giving details.

Express, an Ohio-based near-neighbour with a market value of about $700m, is interested in either a merger of equals or a stock-and-cash takeover, one of the people said.

American Eagle, with a market value of around $2.4bn and with more than 1,000 stores compared with about 900 for Abercrombie and about 650 for Express, has yet to comment.

Abercrombie, meanwhile, has a market value of less than $1bn.

Spokeswomen for Express and Abercrombie also declined to comment to Dow Jones Newswires.

Abercrombie & Fitch shares, which have tumbled 45% over 12 months, closed 12.2% higher yesterday and rose a further 2.3% after hours to $14.55.

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