Weight Watchers Rises on News of Potential Hedge Fund Buyout

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Weight Watchers International Inc. rose the most in three months after the New York Post reported that an unidentified hedge fund is considering a takeover offer for the company.

An activist hedge fund has bought most of Weight Watchers’ $144 million in senior loans due in April 2016 and is talking with potential partners about making an offer to the company’s majority owner, the Post reported, without naming its source or the hedge fund. About 51 percent of Weight Watchers’ shares are owned by Luxembourg-based Artal Group SA.

Weight Watchers has suffered from falling revenue as consumers migrate to free, digital methods for counting calories and keeping in shape. The New York-based company saw profit fall 52 percent in its most recent fiscal year as sales slid 14 percent.

Jenny Zimmerman, a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers, declined to comment on the Post story.

The shares climbed 8.1 percent to $4.42 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day gain since March 26. Weight Watchers has slid 82 percent this year.

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