Advance Auto Parts Surges on Report Suggesting Possible Deal

Advance Auto Parts Inc., under pressure from an activist investor, rose the most in more than two months on speculation that it had been approached by a buyer.

The shares climbed 5.8 percent to close at $156.17 in New York, the biggest single-day gain since Sept. 30. The stock spiked after StreetInsider, citing one unidentified person, reported that the company was exploring a sale. Laurie Stacy, a spokeswoman for company, declined to comment on “rumors and speculation.”

Advance, the largest auto-parts retailer in the U.S. by revenue, has been facing scrutiny from activist investor Starboard Value since late September, when the hedge fund disclosed a 3.7 percent stake in the company. Starboard has said Advance, based in Roanoke, Virginia, should make changes to its business, including reducing overhead costs and pursuing acquisitions of smaller, regional auto-part chains.

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