Victoria’s Secret: Takeover of cult lingerie brand failed

But no deal: After weeks of negotiations, the underwear label Victoria’s Secret does not get a new owner, contrary to expectations. One reason for this is the corona crisis.

The ailing lingerie label Victoria’s Secret is not getting a new majority owner due to the corona crisis. The US parent company L Brands announced on Tuesday night an agreement with the financial investor Sycamore Partners, which was supposed to take over 55 percent.

The deal that was decided in February, in which the fashion brand was valued at $ 1.1 billion, had been canceled. L Brands’ shares fell over ten percent after the exchange.

Sycamore went to court in April to reverse the agreement. The financial investor stated that the reason for this was that L Brands had violated the takeover conditions by closing numerous branches, releasing employees and suspending rental payments in the wake of the Corona pandemic.

Lower sales of lingerie

L Brands had initially announced that it would insist on the purchase contract and vigorously defend itself. Now, however, meant that all legal disputes had been settled by mutual agreement.

At L Brands, “Victoria’s Secret” has developed from a figurehead to a renovation case. The lingerie label, which has sent the elite of top models on the catwalk for years at its fashion shows, is struggling with image problems and falling sales.

The “Sex Sells” marketing, which focuses on flawless, lightly clad female bodies, became a stumbling block in times of “body shaming” debates and the “#MeToo” movement. Reports of allegations of harassment against managers also put the brand under pressure.

Criticism of L-Brands boss Wexner

Although the deal with Sycamore is now officially called off, L Brand’s controversial boss Leslie Wexner will step down as planned. The 82-year-old’s reputation has suffered heavily from his connection to US millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a New York prison last August after an abuse scandal. Wexner is said to have had close business relationships with Epstein for a long time, which led to fierce criticism of the L-Brands boss.

Andrew Meslow, who previously ran the subsidiary Bath & Body Works, is now to succeed him. The group wants to put “Victoria’s Secret” on its own two feet as a separate company.

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