No Fear Retail Stores has urged Orange 21 to reconsider its proposal to merge the two companies, voicing surprise and disappointment at the way the matter has been handled.

The active sportswear retailer said it was "disappointed" with designer Orange 21's reported unwillingness to discuss its merger proposal.

Orange 21 rejected the idea in an SEC filing last week, saying it would not consider the bid further at this time.

"As outlined in our letter dated November 3, 2008, we believe significant synergies exist between the two businesses," said No Fear in a letter to Orange 21's board.

"We remain committed to exploring a merger to drive long-term shareholder value and plan to continue to communicate our proposal directly to shareholders as permitted under applicable law."

No Fear added that it was "surprised" at the way the matter had been handled, with no rationale given for Orange 21's refusal to pursue negotiations.

"This lack of communication is especially disappointing, given the fact that No Fear Retail is one of Orange 21's largest customers," the letter said.

"We hope the board will reconsider our proposal and enter into meaningful negotiations regarding a merger of the two entities for the benefit of Orange 21's stockholders."