According to those notoriously gabby "people with knowledge of the matter," a pair of unlikely candidates are mulling the idea of placing bids on J. Crew (NYSE: JCG).

In late November, word broke that TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners planned to buy J. Crew -- and take it private -- in a transaction valued at $3 billion, or $43.50 per share.

There's a giant "say what?" attached to the rumors, though. Two supposed contenders may be trying to snap up J. Crew first: Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD) and Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN).

  • Why?! Urban Outfitters does just fine on its own, growing organically with new, fresh retail concepts that it dreams up in house. Although J. Crew and Urban Outfitters are both known for being run by excellent merchants, their basic target customers -- preppie types vs. the individualistically bohemian -- are a little too mismatched.
  • What?! Sears Holdings sure could use a shot in the arm, but good grief, it can't even handle running the retail concepts it already has with much success. The second anybody caught on that J. Crew was now run by Sears, or heaven forbid, being sold in Sears (which happened to Land's End), the good times are over for J. Crew's brand. That would leave Sears with yet another fumbled brand.

I suppose anything's possible, even if the rumor in question sounds nonsensical. I can only hope that J. Crew investors don't expect some kind of crazy bidding war like the one Dell and Hewlett-Packard waged for 3PAR last summer, driving the price for the company ever higher. Chances are that the private equity buyout that's already on the table is about as good as it's going to get for J. Crew shareholders.

What do you think? Would bids from Urban Outfitters or Sears make sense? Would some other retailer be a better fit with J. Crew? Offer your conjecture in the comments box below.

Alyce Lomax owns shares of Urban Outfitters. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.