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Sycamore Partners Snaps Up Limited Stores' Assets For $26.75 Million

Sycamore Partners Snaps Up Limited Stores' Assets For $26.75 Million

Retail-focused private equity firm Sycamore Partners has made the winning bid for The Limited Stores' brand name and e-Commerce business. Both Reuters and The Wall Street Journal quote sources familiar with the matter, although neither the retailer nor Sycamore Partners has confirmed the sale or the reported $26.75 million purchase price. The deal is subject to the approval of a bankruptcy court judge on Feb. 23.

Earlier this year, The Limited shuttered all 250 of its brick-and-mortar stores, laying off 4,000 employees in the process. The closings and bankruptcy filing followed headquarters layoffs in December 2016. At that time, a letter to employees revealed that the chain would shut down if it couldn't find a buyer, due to a combination of missed sales targets and debt obligations of approximately $100 million.

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Sycamore Partners has a portfolio that includes the Belk department store chain, footwear and accessories retailer Nine West and the online-only women's apparel retailer Coldwater Creek. The latter's intellectual property was acquired in a bankruptcy proceeding in 2014.

Even without its physical stores, the Limited's brand name and e-Commerce assets were valuable enough to attract competing bids. Sunrise Partners, with holdings that include branded apparel for actresses Melissa McCarthy and Eva Longoria, submitted an offer last week. American Apparel's intellectual property, but not its 110 stores, was purchased for $88 million by Gildan Activewear in January.

The Limited is the latest mall-based retailer to face struggles with competition from online and fast fashion retailers. Recent casualties include Wet Seal, Aéropostale, Pacific Sunwear and Payless.

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