L Brands, firm terminate plan for Victoria’s Secret purchase; Wexner to officially step down as CEO

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus-based L Brands announced Monday an agreement to terminate Sycamore Partner’s announced plan to purchase Victoria’s Secret after the firm filed a lawsuit in April to get out of the deal to purchase the brand.

In addition, L Brands announced it is continuing steps to spin off the Victoria’s Secret brand as its own company.

The deal to sell the Victoria’s Secret brand was reached in February, before coronavirus forced the company’s stores to temporarily shut down.

Sycamore Partner’s filed a lawsuit on April 22 to terminate the deal. Monday’s agreement settles the lawsuit, L Brands said in its announcement.

In addition to Victoria’s Secret, L Brands operates PINK and Bath & Body Works. The PINK brand is included in the Victoria’s Secret deal, while L Brands announced it will continue to operate Bath & Body Works.

As previously announced, L Brands CEO and Chairman of the Board Leslie Wexner will officially step down on May 14, when L Brands holds its annual stockholders’ meeting. Wexner will remain a member of the board as Chairman Emeritus.

In addition, other leadership changes include Andrew Meslow, CEO of Bath & Body Works, taking over as CEO of L Brands, and Sarah Nash will become Chairman of the Board of Directors. Three current board members — Allan Tessler, Gordon Gee, and Raymond Zimmerman, will retire.

“Like all retailers, the company faces an extremely challenging business environment,” Nash said in a press release. “Our Board believes that it is in the best interests of the company, our stockholders and our associates to focus our efforts entirely on navigating this environment to address those challenges and positioning our brands for success rather than engaging in costly and distracting litigation to force a partnership with Sycamore. We are implementing significant cost reduction actions and performance improvements at Victoria’s Secret while continuing to drive strong growth at Bath & Body Works. We will continue to make decisions and take actions with the best interests of all our stakeholders and the future of our company in mind.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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