Talbots Inc. (Hingham, Mass.) is selling its J. Jill brand to Jill Acquisition, an affiliate of private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, for $75 million.
In November, the women’s specialty retailer announced that J. Jill was up for sale. The price tag is significantly less than the $517 million Talbots paid for the brand in 2006, when it won a bidding war with Liz Claiborne Inc.
According to Talbots, J. Jill will continue to be led by Paula Bennett, the brand’s president. Of the 279 J. Jill stores leases, 204 stores will go to Jill Acquisition and will continue to operate. Talbots will close the remaining 75 stores within the next two months.
Talbots says the sale is a strategic step toward focusing the company’s time and resources on rejuvenating its core Talbots brand. Golden Gate’s retail portfolio has grown over the last five years to include such brands as Blair, Haband, Norm Thompson, Appleseed’s, Draper’s & Damon’s, Spiegel and Newport News.