Columbus,OH–Limited Brands has sold its remaining 25% stake in Limited Stores LLC, which operates The Limited retail locations for $32 million. In 2007, Limited Brands sold a 75% stake in Limited Stores to an affiliate of Boca Raton, Florida-based Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm that now owns 100% of Limited Stores. Limited Stores has more than 220 mall locations throughout the United States.
“This sale supports our focus on intimate apparel, personal care and beauty products,” said Leslie H Wexner, chairman and ceo of Limited Brands. “We wish our long-time partners at Limited Stores continued success… this transition furtherenables both teams to win.” The Limited chain was the original business founded in 1963 by Wexner, and in the 1980s, his company was the nation’s largest specialty retailer.
“This buyback is more than a financial transaction. It is recognition of the successful efforts over the last three years to ‘restart’ Limited Stores, as well as a demonstration of the confidence Sun Capital has in our future,” added Linda I Heasley, ceo of Limited Stores. “And it’s a great future. We continue to have a strong balance sheet after completing this transaction and are opening 10 stores this year and planning an additional 20 in 2011.”
While it’s ironic that Limited Brands no longer has its namesake store under its umbrella of brands that include Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body works and Canadian lingerie chain La Senza, the company has spun off other retail brands before:Abercrombie & Fitch in 1996, sold a majority stake in Express in early 2007, and sold Express Men (formerly known as Structure) to Sears Holdings Corporation.
There will be about 10 new Limited stores added this year and 15 to 20 additional locations in 2011.