updated 9/26/2005 2:25:49 PM ET 2005-09-26T18:25:49

There’s word that Wal-Mart is interested in acquiring clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger.

Women’s Wear Daily is reporting on its Web site that the world’s largest retailer is believed to have initiated the idea of a buyout, and will start conducting due diligence as early as this week. The industry publication says a deal could be signed before Thanksgiving.

A Hilfiger spokeswoman says the company doesn’t comment on speculation, while Wal-Mart was not immediately available for comment.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, the asking price for Tommy Hilfiger is at least $1.82 billion, but could go as high as $2.16 billion.

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