Ascena offloads Justice brand, closing all stores as part of new acquisition
Ascena Retail Group has sold all intellectual property and certain other brand assets of its tween brand, Justice, to an entity formed by Bluestar Alliance LLC for a total of approximately $90 million.
As a result of the sale, all Justice stores will be closed by early 2021. However, the brand's stores will remain open through the holiday season, as well as its e-commerce platform, according to a press release from Ascena.
The sale comes after Ascena filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last July as a result of an economic blow attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, receiving court approval for its reorganization plan in September. Following the sale of Justice, Ascena continues to operate its Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey brands.
“The conclusion of the sale process for our Justice brand is a significant step forward in our efforts to complete our restructuring process and maximize value for all our stakeholders,” said Gary Muto, chief executive officer of Ascena.
“The optimization of our portfolio better positions Ascena for long-term success and supports our vision for the future. As we seamlessly transition ownership of Justice over the coming weeks, we remain committed to delivering meaningful experiences for our customers every day. I thank our entire team for their continued focus as we prepare for the important holiday season.”
The transaction is expected to close before the end of November 2020.
A private equity firm and management company, Bluestar's portfolio includes brands like Bebe, Brookstone, Hurley, Catherine Malandrino, Kensie Girl and Limited Too, among others.
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