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St. John Chief Extends Purchase Deadline

St. John Knits Inc. Chief Executive Robert E. Gray has extended the deadline on his family’s offer to buy the upscale women’s clothier to Jan. 15, the company said Wednesday. The $28-a-share bid had been scheduled to expire today. The announcement gave no reason for the extension. On Tuesday, St. John announced that an independent committee formed to evaluate the offer has retained Merrill Lynch & Co. and Wasserstein Perella & Co. Inc. as its financial advisors and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as its legal advisor. St. John’s founding family said earlier this month it wants to buy the company and take it private. Gray said he wants to slow the company’s growth, a plan that doesn’t suit Wall Street. Since then, some Wall Street analysts and big investors have blasted the offer, saying it is too low and doesn’t reflect the company’s true value. The stock closed Wednesday at $25.94 a share, up 44 cents.


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