San Francisco—Shares of Gap Inc. rose to their biggest one-day gain since August 2, 2012 after rumors that Fast Retailing, the Japanese retail giant that owns Uniqlo, has expressed interest in buying the American retailer.
According to a CNBC report citing StreetAccount, a financial news service, Fast Retailing is considering a bid to takeover Gap Inc. Previously, Tadashi Yanai, Fast Retailing’s billionaire chief executive officer, has said the company is seeking acquisitions that would help it expand in the United States and globally boosting sales to more than $60 billion over the next decade. And last November, the company took an 80.1% stake in J Brand as part of its U.S. expansion plans.
However, Edie Kissko, a spokesperson for Gap Inc., declined comment saying the company doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation. Nor has Fast Retailing made any public comment on the speculation.
In January, Fast Retailing predicted it would hit record sales and profits in its current fiscal year after posting “considerable gains” across its businesses in the first quarter.
Gap Inc. reported that in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, its net sales were $4.73 billion compared to $4.28 billion in the prior year quarter. Its comparable store sales were up 5% compared to a 4% decrease in the fourth quarter a year ago.
Moreover, Gap Inc. forecast that its fourth quarter net profit would be in the range of 70 cents to 71 cents a share compared to analysts’ average estimate for 69 cents a share.