Ascena Retail Group Inc. has wrapped up its acquisition of Ann Inc., shares of which are expected to stop trading on the New York Stock Exchange later today.
Ann Inc. shareholders approved the purchase at a special meeting on Wednesday.
The combination of Mahwah, N.J.-based Ascena and New York-based Ann Inc. creates a women’s retailing operation with $7.4 billion in sales, 4,900 stores and more than 70,000 associates.
“This powerful merger joins two strong and highly complementary organizations and dramatically reinforces our leadership position in women’s specialty apparel retailing,” said David Jaffe, president and chief executive officer. “The acquisition positions Ascena as the third-largest specialty apparel retailer and the single-largest focused on women’s apparel, with a diverse brand portfolio that serves women of all ages, sizes and demographics.”
A presentation put together by Ascena and released when the deal was disclosed in May, showed the leading apparel specialty retailers were Gap Inc., with $16.44 billion in 2014 revenues, and L Brands Inc., at $11.45 billion. Next on the list, after Ascena, were Abercrombie & Fitch Inc. ($3.74 billion), Urban Outfitters Inc. ($3.32 billion) and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. ($3.28 billion).
Ann Inc.’s Ann Taylor and Loft brands join a portfolio that includes Justice, Lane Bryant, Maurices, Dress Barn and Catherines. Maurices was acquired in 2005, Justice in 2009 and, through its purchase of Charming Shoppes Inc., Lane Bryant and Catherines in 2012.
Kay Krill, who continues as ceo of Ann Inc., said, “Combined with Ascena, we have a stronger competitive position and financial base as part of the nation’s largest specialty retailer focused exclusively on women’s apparel. In taking this next step, our focus on our clients remains unchanged.”
The $2.15 billion transaction gives Ann Inc. shareholders $37.34 in cash and 0.68 of an Ascena share for each share held, granting Ann holders about a 16 percent stake in Ascena.