By  on May 15, 2007

Limited Brands will sell a 67 percent interest in its Express brand to Golden Gate Capital for $548 million in cash and will begin to examine strategic options for its Limited brand.

The moves reflect the Columbus, Ohio-based vertical retailer's focus in recent years on Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works divisions, and efforts to simplify its structure.

It will also largely take the 44-year-old retailer out of the apparel fashion business, where its roots lies, though Victoria's Secret does do a large business in sportswear, jeans,swimwear and accessories, as well as lingerie.

“Our strategic agenda focuses on growth in the intimate apparel, and personal care and beauty segments of our business. The new ownership structure for Express will provide it with the resources, leadership focus and capital to maximize its potential.” stated Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer, on Tuesday. “Consistent with our past practices, we intend to return excess cash to shareholders. We will also engage in a complete review of our SG&A expenses with a view to a resizing and realignment that is appropriate for the size and complexity of our new enterprise structure.”

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