Victoria’s Secret takes lingerie business private at $1.1B valuation

L Brands CEO steps down amid Victoria’s Secret sale

L Brands CEO is stepping down and Brookfield properties has agreed to buy Forever 21.

L Brands Inc. is taking lingerie business Victoria's Secret private, selling a controlling stake to Sycamore Partners for $525 million and leaving personal-care business Bath & Body Works as a stand-alone public company.

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The separation "provides the best path" to restoring profitability at Victoria's Secret and PINK, CEO Leslie Wexner said in a statement. L Brands, which he has led for decades, will retain a 45% stake in the lingerie businesses, which has an enterprise value of $1.1 billion, and Wexner will step down as CEO and chairman once the deal is completed.


"We believe there is a significant opportunity to reinvigorate growth and improve the profitability of Victoria’s Secret," Sycamore's managing director, Stefan Kaluzny, said in the statement.

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LB L BRANDS INC. 24.32 +0.01 +0.06%

The transaction shines a spotlight on Bath & Body Works, which has "one of the strongest growth stories in retail," Lorraine Hutchinson, an analyst with Bank of America, told clients before the deal was announced, predicting that the chain could continue to deliver growth despite challenges for other brick-and-mortar retailers.

"Bath & Body Works has been able to generate its own traffic by capitalizing on strong replenishment demand and providing a constant stream of newness," she said. "Trial is crucial, especially for a business where scent and efficacy are so important."

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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