Ascena Retail sells Catherines to FullBeauty Brands

In a filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Ascena Retail Group Inc, the parent of the Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant brands, recently announced a winning bid of $40.8 million from New York-based FullBeauty Brands Operations LLC for its plus-size Catherines brand. The stalking-horse bidder was Sydney-headquartered City Chic Collective Ltd, which had offered $16 million.

Ascena, which also owns the Loft, Lou & Grey and Justice brands, filed for Chapter 11 protection two months ago as its business experienced severe disruptions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

The retail group temporarily shuttered nearly its entire fleet starting mid-March because of a shutdown. It implemented furloughs, reduced base salaries, cut back on advertising expenses, extended vendor payment terms and withheld rent payments to preserve capital.

In its bankruptcy filing, Ascena announced that it had reached a restructuring agreement with 68 per cent of its secured term lenders and received $150 million in new funds from its existing lenders.

It intends to eliminate about $1 billion of its roughly $12.5 billion debt load, as well as plans to shutter all stores in Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico, plus a ‘significant’ number of Justice locations and a ‘select’ number of Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey outposts, according to US media reports.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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