Talbot’s agrees to open its books

Talbot’s Inc. TLB may want to hear Sycamore Partners out, after all.

The women’s apparel retailer last month turned down a $212 million buyout offer from Sycamore last month, saying that the $3 per share offer was “inadequate and substantially undervalues” the company. But today Talbot’s seems to have softened toward Sycamore, revealing in a regulatory filing that it will let the private equity firm have access to its books.

It is the first confidentiality agreement of this sort that Talbot’s has signed.

Sycamore already holds nearly a 10% stake in Talbot’s, which continues to make it the most likely buyer. No word yet on if today’s move is a reflection of desperation at Talbot’s, or of Sycamore’s willingness to improve on its initial offer.

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