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Golden Gate to Sell J. Jill Majority Stake to Arcapita Bank

Golden Gate Capital Corp., a private equity firm, agreed to sell a majority stake in the J. Jill clothing business to Arcapita Bank BSC, a Bahrain-based investment bank, less than two years after buying the company.

Golden Gate, based in San Francisco, will remain a minority shareholder in the company, according to a statement today. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. J. Jill President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Bennett will continue to lead the Quincy, Massachusetts-based retailer.

Golden Gate bought J. Jill in June 2009 from Talbots Inc. for about $75 million. Talbots, after purchasing J. Jill for about $517 million in 2006, posted losses in part from consumers cutting spending during the recession.

J. Jill operates more than 200 stores across the U.S. and caters to women over the age of 35. Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor to J. Jill, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal advice, according to the statement.

Interest in specialty retailers has advanced since J. Crew Group Inc. announced in November that TPG Capital in Fort Worth, Texas, and Los Angeles-based Leonard Green & Partners LP would acquire the New York-based chain for $3 billion.

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