Uniqlo owner eyes €3.6bn J Crew deal in bid to lead fashion market
The Japanese company behind the Uniqlo retail chain is in talks about a potential acquisition of US fashion brand J Crew Group, according to sources close to the situation.
The deal could be worth as much as $5bn (€3.6bn), one of the people said.
Uniqlo is owned by Fast Retailing Co, which is turn is controlled by Japan's richest man Tadashi Yanai (65), who built it up from his father's tailor shop.
Trendy US retailer J Crew is in his sights as he seeks to turn Fast Retailing into the world's biggest clothing retailer.
Japan's declining population means that plan depends on expansion abroad.
Mr Yanai has already been pushing his low-priced casual wear company into new markets, hiring executives from global retailers and weighing acquisitions to increase overseas sales and compete with Zara owner Inditex SA and Hennes & Mauritz AB.
"Having J Crew would help as it's the brand people know and that can attract a lot more customers than doing it alone," said Mikihiko Yamato, deputy head of research at JI Asia in Tokyo. (Bloomberg)