The first item of business for Sycamore will be for Johnson to resign. The will give an immediate boost to the sentiment as the new CEO will not be Johnson. Second, the idea that Sycamore is setting up ARO for bankruptcy is not likely. The cost and timing of bankruptcy (they are currently second in line in terms of financing) would be far greater than buying the company outright as it stands now. In other words, Sycamore's interests are aligned to help the company succeed. They have a long-term supplier contract, own approximately 12% in the company and have a $150m loan with a blended 6.7% interest rate. All of these items point towards Sycamore helping, or at least trying to help, ARO succeed in the long-term.
The short-term is another story. The next three months will, of course, be very choppy, as the only good news will be Johnson retiring, which may not be announced until a successor is found.
Sycamore will try everything to drive the price down and force ARO to sell themselves to Sycamore as low as possible. Sycamore then will take Aeropostale private and all the share holders will be flushed at that low buying price.
I went through the same Sycamore story with Talbot. They got enough votes and we the little guys got axed at significant loses.
I sold at ^6 something with a loss. I have no ARO now and I think about shorting but I am afraid it is not worth it at these low prices. There are other stock out there to play.