Ascena Retail Selling Ann Taylor, Loft and More for $540 Million

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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Bankrupt retailer Ascena Retail Group has entered into a deal to sell its remaining Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey and Lane Bryant brands to  Premium Apparel LLC, an affiliate of Sycamore Partners.

The private equity firm will pay $540 million, on a cash-free and debt-free basis, subject to certain adjustments, and the assumption of certain liabilities. The transaction is expected to be completed by mid-December. 

As part of the deal, Premium Apparel has committed to retaining a substantial portion of the retail stores and associates affiliated with these brands. As of August 29, Ascena operated 1,500 stores throughout the U.S. in addition to e-commerce sites.

“We are pleased to announce an agreement with Sycamore Partners, an experienced and trusted leader in the retail sector,” said Ascena CEO Gary Muto. “The commitment Sycamore has made to our people and business is a testament to the long-term growth potential of our brands. At ascena, we have made significant progress in our financial restructuring process. We have worked diligently to maximize the value of all of our brands, and today’s agreement with Sycamore is the latest example.

“I want to thank our associates, as well as our customers and vendors, for their support of ascena and our brands. We are looking forward to the holiday season and beyond in Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey stores and online. As our customers’ needs continue to evolve, our teams remain focused on delivering great fashion and memorable experiences, however our customer chooses to shop.”

“Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey are well-known brands, each with passionate associates and loyal customers,” said Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore Partners. “These brands have significant potential, and we are excited about the opportunity to partner with ascena’s talented team to continue delivering new and relevant experiences for customers.”

Ascena began liquidating its Dressbarn stores in 2019 and sold a majority stake in the Maurices brand. In September, FullBeauty Brands Operations acquired the Catherines brand’s intellectual property assets and e-commerce business, and in November Justice Brand Holdings, an entity formed by Bluestar Alliance, completed its acquisition of the intellectual property of Justice.