Disney Eyes Purchase of Part of Namesake Apparel Chain

The Walt Disney Co. revealed today that it is currently in advanced discussions with The Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. regarding a deal that would allow Disney to acquire approximately two thirds of the 335-store Disney Store North America chain from the Children’s Place. Disney had sold the licensed merchandise chain to Children’s Place in 2004.When the Children’s Place took over the Disney Store chain four years ago, it agreed to invest as much as $100 million into remodeling what was then a portfolio of 313 properties. Today, the enhanced portfolio covers nearly 1.5 million square feet of leased retail space.The Children’s Place’s decision to sell the Disney division stems from its October 2007 announcement that it would seek strategic alternatives to improve shareholder value and corporate operations.