Charlotte Russe Buy a Good Omen?

[Editor’s Note: Ian Ritter is taking a much deserved vacation over the next week, and retail reporter Debra Hazel is filling in for him on Counter Culture. Please treat her nice.]

This morning’s announcement that Charlotte Russe will be acquired and taken private by investment funds managed by Advent International for $17.50 per share ends a months-long process of pursuing a sale.

In the announcement, David Mussafer, a Managing Partner at Advent International Corporation, said, “We are excited to purchase Charlotte Russe and to work with former Old Navy president Jenny Ming, an Advent operating partner, to build on the foundation established by the management team.”

In April, the chain announced plans to continue expansion of its new prototype, which would allow it to enter better malls. It also said it was investigating outlet expansion, with plans to be announced next year.

The Charlotte Russe deal comes just weeks after Golden Gate Holdings acquired the long-embattled Eddie Bauer chain out of bankruptcy, and a couple of months after Sym’s and Vornado teamed to acquire Filene’s Basement, also out of Chapter 11. Are these deals a cautious vote of confidence in the retail sector? Or is it too early to spot a trend?

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