NEW YORK — Limited Brands Inc. and United Retail Group Inc. have parted ways.

Limited sold off its 1.6 million shares of the plus-size specialty retailer on Aug. 27 for $2.20 a share, or $3.5 million, according to a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stake represented about 12.4 percent of United’s stock. Its sale marks the end of more than a decade of investment in the retailer by Limited.

Also on Aug. 27, Boston-based North Run Capital picked up 1.2 million shares, or 9.5 percent of the retailer.

Shares of the firm fell 15 cents Tuesday to $2.71, off of its 52-week high of $3.43.

Based in Rochelle Park, N.J., United has 532 Avenue stores with 2.3 million square feet of selling space. Sales for the second-quarter ended July 31 slid 3.4 percent to $101.3 million, while losses narrowed to $1.6 million from $4.2 million a year earlier.

Chairman, president and chief executive officer Raphael Benaroya, in a statement, called the improved results “a small step.”

“We are continuing to focus our attention on differentiating our product in the face of intensifying competition for the large-size customer,” he said. “Product differentiation remains our principal strategic driver.”

— Evan Clark

This story first appeared in the September 8, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.