martes, 15 de mayo de 2007

Limited Brands to sell control of Express

COLUMBUS, OH, United States (UPI) -- U.S. clothier Limited Brands Inc. said Tuesday it would sell control of its Express brand and 'explore strategic options' for its Limited clothing chain.

The retailer said it would concentrate instead on its Victoria`s Secret and Bath & Body Works businesses.

'Our strategic agenda focuses on growth in the intimate apparel and personal care and beauty segments of our business,' Chief Executive Officer Leslie Wexner said. 'The new ownership structure for Express will provide it with the resources, leadership focus and capital to maximize its potential.'

Limited, of Columbus, Ohio, agreed to sell a 67 percent stake in Express to private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital of San Francisco for $548 million in cash.

Limited estimated that after-tax proceeds would be about $425 million.

The transaction, subject to customary conditions, is expected to close by July 6.

Express will keeps its headquarters in Columbus and current management and associates are expected to remain, Limited said.

The chain`s 631 stores had 2006 net sales of $1.7 billion.

The retailer said it did not have a timetable for reviewing its options for the Limited chain.

The company agreed to purchase La Senza Corp., a Canada-based international retailer of lingerie and sleepwear, for $646 million Nov. 15.

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