Ascena Retail Group to Acquire ANN INC.

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Ascena Retail Group Inc., owner of plus-sized apparel brand Lane Bryant has announced it will merge with ANN INC., for a total of $2.0 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

Upon closing, ANN INC. stockholders will receive $37.34 in cash at 0.68 of a share of ascena common stock in exchange for each share of ANN common stock.  Based on the closing price of ascena stock on May 15, price per share of $47, a 21.4% premium over the closing price of ANN shares on, May 15.  At closing, ANN stockholders will own approximately 16% of ascena.

The acquisition will create a combined company that exceeded $7.3 billion in sales over the past 12 months, and operates more than 4,900 stores exclusively focused on women’s retailing.

“This powerful transaction joins two strong and highly complementary organizations and management teams and dramatically reinforces our leadership position in women’s specialty apparel retailing,” said David Jaffe, president and CEO of ascena Retail Group Inc. “We are excited to further leverage our uniquely capable operating platform and exceptional combined talent to drive immediate, significant and ongoing value for our stockholders.”

With the addition of Ann Taylor and LOFT brands, Jaffe said ascena will become one of North America’s largest and most diversified specialty apparel retailers with a tremendous set of opportunities to continue to expand its leadership position in the women’s apparel market.

“I am very proud of all we have accomplished and confident that combining with ascena is the right next step for ANN INC.,” said Kay Krill, president and CEO of ANN INC.  “The transaction will make us part of a larger organization with a diversified portfolio of brands focused on the women’s apparel market, a strong operating platform and power financial base.”

For the fourth quarter 2014, ANN INC reported $647.4 million compared to net sales of $623.3 million in 2013.  By brand, net sales across Ann Taylor brand totaled $249.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to $246.2 million in 2013. The LOFT brand saw total net sales of $397.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $377.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Ascena Retail Group Inc., reported an increase in its net sales in the second quarter of 2015 of 1.7% to $1.28 billion compared to $1.26 billion in 2014.


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