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NATICK, Mass. -- Shares of BJ's Wholesale Club Inc., based here, soared 8.7 percent to close at $31.50 on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, in response to a note issued by investment bank UBS saying that the warehouse club chain might go private. BJ's was one of the largest percentage gainers in afternoon trading.
"We believe a compelling reason to take a look at BJ's is the current interest in retail stocks from the private equity community," said UBS analysts said in yesterday's note. "We think BJ's is a good candidate for private equity involvement." The bank added that it based its analysis on earlier trade press reports.
BJ's operates 161 BJ's Wholesale outlets, two ProFoods Restaurant Supply clubs and 86 gas stations across the country. The company has declined to speak to the press about the possibility of going private.