BJ’s Surges as Board Decides to Explore Options, Sale

BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. surged the most in almost three months after saying its board has decided to explore strategic options, including a possible sale.

The Westborough, Massachusetts-based retailer has hired Morgan Stanley as its financial adviser, according to a statement today. The company had a market value of about $2.35 billion as of yesterday’s close.

BJ’s hired the investment bank last year after receiving an offer from private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP, three people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The wholesale club, which offers discounts to members who pay an annual fee, has lagged behind larger Costco Wholesale Corp. in same-store sales growth, a key measure of retail performance.

BJ’s jumped $5.24, or 12 percent, to $48.25 at 4:03 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares increased 46 percent last year.

January sales at stores open at least a year rose 0.3 percent excluding gasoline, BJ’s said today. Costco posted a 4 percent gain at its U.S. stores, excluding fuel.

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