Did you hear?...TheDeal.com reports Timberland pulls plug on auction

According to sources in a Feb. 9 report on the TheDeal.com, the auction of Timberland (NYSE: TBL) has ended, and, for now, the company has decided to remain publicly traded.
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According to sources in a Feb. 9 report on the TheDeal.com, the auction of Timberland (NYSE: TBL) has ended, and, for now, the company has decided to remain publicly traded.

The decision was made in recent weeks after bids from major strategic and financial buyers fell short of expectations, according to TheDeal.com sources.

The Timberland auction, run by Goldman, Sachs & Co., drew healthy initial interest, the report added. First, from Nike, VF Corp. and Phillips-Van Heusen, followed by a line of big private equity firms, including Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital, Golden Gate Capital and Apollo Management LP.

TheDeal.com quoted a source as telling it that even though Timberland has increased sales by selling outdoor and casual apparel, sales for the company's core outdoor boots has been down -- spooking strategic and financial buyers, according to the article.

At a market capitalization of $1.8 billion, Timberland is trading at more than 10 times Ebitda, which, according to TheDeal.com, is considered too high a multiple by most for a company with declining revenue in its core product category.

According to TheDeal.com, a Timberland spokesman told TheDeal.com that the company doesn't comment on rumors, and representatives for Goldman Sachs and Nike declined to comment the report stated.

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