Aug 31, 2010
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Saks shares up after report of buyout bid

Aug 31, 2010

(Reuters) - Saks Inc (SKS.N) shares rose nearly 30 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday after a news report suggested a group of private equity firms may bid for the New York-based luxury department store operator.

Saks, Fifth Avenue

The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, said that a consortium of U.S. and British firms could make a cash offer of $11 per share, or $1.7 billion in all, but did not cite sources. That offer would represent a 67 percent premium over Monday's closing price of $6.60.

A spokeswoman for Saks did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Shares were trading at $8.55 in premarket trading. Shares have fallen by about 38 percent since hitting a yearly high of $10.65 in April 26.

After stumbling during the economic slowdown as consumers cut back on luxury items, Saks' sales have since rebounded.

Last week, Saks reported better-than-expected quarterly results as it was able to sell more items at their full price.

Sales in July at its stores open at least a year rose 6.4 percent, beating Wall Street estimates.

Saks' largest shareholders include Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, with a 15.9 percent stake, and Italian businessman Diego Della Valle, who nearly doubled his stake in Saks in a matter of a few days in March to 9.3 percent.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Derek Caney)

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