Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret begin life apart

Columbus Business First

A Bath & Body Works store inside Polaris Fashion Place. (L BRANDS INC.)

COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — L Brands Inc. is no more.

The Columbus-based retailer as of Monday is now two separate standalone brands and companies: Bath & Body Works Inc. and Victoria’s Secret & Co.

Bath & Body Works, formerly L Brands, now trades under BBWI, while Victoria’s Secret is under VSCO.

Shareholders received one share of Victoria’s Secret for every three shares of L Brands they held.

Name changes aren’t new to the company, which has adapted its moniker many times over the years as the makeup of its business changed. It was The Limited Inc., then Limited Brands, before becoming L Brands. Victoria’s Secret once was Intimate Brands Inc.

Bath & Body Works had $6.4 billion sales in 2020, 1,752 stores in the U.S. and Canada and 299 international franchised locations. Victoria’s Secret sales were $5.4 billion in 2020 with 929 stores in the U.S. and Canada and 458 international franchised locations.

In one of its last acts as L Brands, the company Friday announced the settlement of lawsuits raised by stockholders alleging workplace misconduct at the company.

The settlement terms apply to both Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret going forward. Terms include each company investing $45 million each over the next five years toward its governance policies. Both will maintain Diversity, Equity and Inclusion councils and strengthen policies and procedures for reporting and investigating sexual harassment complaints among other reforms.

The settlement was negotiated by a special committee of the board led by chair Sarah Nash that was investigating the stockholders’ allegations.

“This global resolution, with its commitment to industry-leading governance policies, is an overwhelmingly positive result for the Company and its stockholders,” Nash said in a news release. “It further prepares both Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret for success as independent public companies with strong management teams and boards of directors committed to principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

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