New Jersey discount retailer Syms may sell

New Jersey-based discount retailer Syms Corp. is considering selling the company and other strategic alternatives, it was revealed yesterday. The announcement sent share prices up nearly 26 percent in afternoon trading, the most in almost two and a half years.

The retailer has been troubled financially since its purchase of Filene’s Basement out of bankruptcy protection for $62.4 million in 2009. It reported net losses of $32.9 million for the fiscal year ending February 2011 and a bigger loss, earlier this month, as its revenue fell 13 percent to $100.9 million.

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Capstone Equities Capital Management valued Syms’ real estate holdings at over $200 million. That’s about 50 percent more than the company’s worth as a retailer. It owns 18 of its 49 stores for a total of 1.69 million square feet, according to a public filing dated Feb. 26.

The company has hired Rothschild Inc. as an adviser and is currently exploring alternatives to the sale. The company has around 2,500 employees. [Crain’s]