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Abercrombie & Fitch Plunges After Takeover Negotiations Fail

  • Shares decline as much as 20 percent after announcement
  • Best path is ‘rigorous execution’ of business plan: chairman

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. terminated talks with potential acquirers, dashing hopes of investors who saw a takeover as the best way to rescue a retailer struggling to rekindle its appeal with shoppers.

The move send the shares down as much as 20 percent, to $9.77 in New York, the biggest intraday decline in more than 10 months. The announcement followed months of speculation that Abercrombie might be acquired by Express Inc. or American Eagle Outfitters Inc.

In leaving the bargaining table, Abercrombie has few easy options. The retailer was a mainstay of shopping malls and college fashion in the ’90s and early 2000s, but it’s lost much of its allure...