Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Kate Spade Jumps After Report Renews Takeover Speculation

Kate Spade & Co. shares rose the most in almost seven weeks after DealReporter said the company is awaiting first-round bids, renewing speculation that the handbag maker will be swallowed up by a competitor.

The bids are expected to come this month, according to DealReporter, which cited unidentified people familiar with the situation. Bloomberg has previously reported that Kate Spade has received interest from retailers such as Coach Inc. and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.

Kate Spade was slated to begin a formal auction process last month, with six potential bidders expressing interest, a person familiar with the situation told Bloomberg at the time. The move follows pressure from Caerus Investors, a hedge fund that pushed the company in November to find an acquirer that could help it improve profit margins.

Shares of Kate Spade climbed as much as 6.9 percent to $20.07 in the wake of the report, marking the biggest intraday gain since Dec. 28. The stock had advanced less than 1 percent this year before the rally.

Emily Garbaccio, a spokeswoman for Kate Spade, said in an e-mail Tuesday that the company doesn’t comment on industry rumors or speculation.

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