Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant sold to buyout firm for $540M

Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant sold to buyout firm for $540M

Iconic women’s clothing brands Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant will be bought out of bankruptcy by private equity firm Sycamore Partners, the companies said Thursday.

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, Ascena Retail Group — the owner of the apparel brands — reached a deal to sell off its remaining assets for $540 million to Premium Apparel, a subsidiary of New York-based Sycamore.

The private equity firm, which owns Talbots, The Limited and Staples, said it plans to keep “a substantial portion” of the retail stores and associates and expects the deal to close by mid-December.

“These brands have significant potential, and we are excited about the opportunity to partner with Ascena’s talented team to continue delivering new and relevant experiences for customers,” Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore said in a statement.

Mahwah, NJ-based Ascena bought Ann Inc., the parent company to Ann Taylor and LOFT in 2015 for $2.2 billion, in a deft-fueled deal that industry experts say was the beginning of the downfall of Ascena.

Last year, Ascena began selling its other well-known brands, including 58-year-old Dressbarn which had 650 stores — all of which were shuttered — before the brand’s intellectual property was sold to brand licensing firm, Retail Ecommerce Ventures.

The deal with Sycamore also includes the Lou & Grey brand.