J Crew owners are understood to be in talks to sell the clothing retailer for as much as $5bn

J Crew owners are understood to be in talks to sell the clothing retailer for as much as $5bn

Japanese retail group Fast Retailing has declined to comment on reports it is in discussions to acquire US apparel and accessories retailer J Crew.

Fast Retailing is reported to have approached J Crew about potentially buying the private-equity-owned business, sources told Reuters. J Crew was taken private by TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners in 2011 in a deal worth US$3bn.

TPG declined to comment on the discussions. A spokesperson for Fast Retailing also remained tight-lipped.

"As a general company policy we do not comment on market rumour or speculation," said Fast Retailing spokesman Aldo Liguori.

The owners of J Crew are understood to be in talks to sell the clothing retailer for as much as $5bn, according to Reuters.

South Korean fashion conglomerate E.Land Group are also said to be exploring a deal for J.Crew Group Inc. The company, however, could not be reached for comment.

Last month, J Crew recorded an increase in fourth-quarter revenues and revealed it was seeking a loan to refinance debt. The firm, however, said it had not yet received a commitment from lenders in connection with the potential refinancing.

Commenting on the talks, Euromonitor International's apparel research analyst Ashma Kunde said: "With Fast Retailing's target of becoming the world's largest apparel retailer by 2020, and hoping to reach the number one spot in the US, the company could not have picked a more suitable target.

"J Crew would be a noteworthy addition to Fast Retailing's existing portfolio.

"The acquisition would give the company access to the lucrative affordable luxury segment, while enabling its flagship brand Uniqlo to draw upon J Crew's design expertise. Most importantly, the deal would bring Fast Retailing a big step closer to achieving its American dream."