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Talbot's softens toward Sycamore

January 30, 2012: 10:39 AM ET

Talbot's agrees to open its books

Talbot's Inc. (TLB) may want to hear Sycamore Partners out, after all.

The women's apparel retailer last month turned down a $212 million buyout offer from Sycamore last month, saying that the $3 per share offer was "inadequate and substantially undervalues" the company. But today Talbot's seems to have softened toward Sycamore, revealing in a regulatory filing that it will let the private equity firm have access to its books.

It is the first confidentiality agreement of this sort that Talbot's has signed.

Sycamore already holds nearly a 10% stake in Talbot's, which continues to make it the most likely buyer. No word yet on if today's move is a reflection of desperation at Talbot's, or of Sycamore's willingness to improve on its initial offer.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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