Limited Brands Inc. said on Wednesday it has sold its remaining 25 percent stake in Limited Stores LLC to Sun Capital Partners Inc. for $32 million.
Sun Capital now fully owns the brand, having bought a 75 percent stake in 2007 from Limited Brands, whose chief executive officer, Leslie Wexner, decided to shed the underperforming apparel businesses he founded in the Sixties. In addition to Limited Stores, Wexner sold a 75 percent stake in Express to Golden Gate Capital.
“This buyback is more than a financial transaction,” said Linda Heasley, chief executive officer of Limited Stores. “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.”
Despite the soft economy, Limited Stores has returned to profitability for the first time in 17 years. Heasley’s new initiatives have included a pop-up store in Manhattan in October that featured the relaunched Forenza collection. The temporary store was so successful, its stay was extended. The Limited collaborated with Jodi Arnold for a spring collection, and Arnold has designed a collection for fall featuring handwork T-shirts, jackets with grommets and chiffon-covered stones, and dresses decorated with beads and stitching. The Limited plans to work with a new designer next spring. It is also searching for space in Manhattan for a permanent store.
The Limited on June 3 launched bridalwear online and plans to expand the category in January. The Limited’s Web site is relaunching in July.