Duck Head Apparel announced today that it intends to take a series of steps for the purpose of maximising value for its shareholders. The company announced that it will retain an investment banking firm to provide independent advice with respect to strategic alternatives available to the company and to make a recommendation to a special committee of the board that will be formed for the purpose of exploring such alternatives.The company further announced that it intends to institute a share repurchase program for up to $3m of its outstanding shares. The timing and form of the share repurchase programme will be determined by the board after consultation with its advisors.Finally, the company announced that it intends to amend its shareholders rights plan to provide that the rights will expire on March 31, 2001.Bob Rockey, chairman and CEO, said: "We believe that the current stock price does not reflect the company's underlying value and have determined to take these steps in order to pursue our goal of maximising value for our shareholders. Retaining an investment banking firm with significant experience in our industry will be an important step in determining what strategic alternatives may be available to realise increased value for our shareholders. "Implementing a share repurchase at current share prices is a good investment and may provide some liquidity for shareholders. Finally, the decision to terminate the rights plan by March 31, 2000 will continue to provide protection from attempts to acquire control of the company at unfair prices for the period of time that the company believes will be needed by the board to explore strategic alternatives. Of course, the board has the ability to redeem the rights sooner if doing so will, in its judgment, enhance shareholder value."