ON THE BLOCK?: Is J. Jill Group Inc. about to be sold again? It’s only been about a year-and-a-half since private equity firm Golden Gate Capital purchased J. Jill from The Talbots Inc. for $75 million, but a source said a deal was reached within the past week. The identity of the buyer could not be learned. “This did happen fast but there is money out there and Golden Gate saw an opportunity to get a return on their investment,” said an industry source. Selling J. Jill corresponds with Golden Gate’s current strategy of restructuring its portfolio of brands. Last year, it spun off Express through a successful initial public offering, and this past January, sent its Orchard Brands umbrella of 17 catalogue businesses into voluntary bankruptcy. Some industry sources believe the long-troubled Eddie Bauer business could be the next Golden Gate property to go. The private equity firm also has an investment in Zale Corp., among other brands. Golden Gate executives could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
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