Gymboree set to begin expected $1Bn auction, report

Gymboree, the children’s apparel retailer, is expected to fetch more than $1 billion in a planned auction, according to the New York Post. The company has hired Goldman Sachs to begin the auction, the report said, after it was approached by two firms, one of which was Apollo Management, owned by billionaire Leon Black. Other interested firms include Bain Capital, KKR, Apax Partners, and Irving Place Capital.

(Reuters) – Children’s apparel retailer Gymboree has hired Goldman Sachs to begin a formal auction of the company, that is expected to fetch more than $1 billion, the New York Post said.

Gymboree hired the investment bank last month after it was approached by at least two firms — one of which was Apollo Management, the paper said, citing sources.

Billionaire Leon Black’s Apollo Management — whose recent unsolicited approach to Gymboree helped spur the auction that’s now under way, according to one source — is expected to be among the leading bidders, the Post said.

Other buyout firms such as Bain Capital, KKR , Apax Partners and Irving Place Capital have also shown interest in the San Francisco-based retailer, the paper said.

Reports of the company exploring a sale, last week, sent Gymboree’s stock up 21 percent.

Gymboree, Goldman Sachs, Apollo Management, Apax Partners, and KKR could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.
(Reporting by Mansi Dutta in Bangalore; Editing by Louise Heavens)