Ascena Retail Group Acquires Charming Shoppes

Ascena Retail Group will acquire Charming Shoppes in a cash transaction valued at approximately $890 million.

The tender offer is expected to commence within 10 business days. Subject to customary conditions and approvals, the transaction is expected to close during the second calendar quarter of 2012.

Charming Shoppes is the parent company of Lane Bryant, Catherines Plus Sizes and Fashion Bug, and also operates direct-to-customer food and gifts merchant Figi’s.

Ascena owns women’s apparel retailers Dress Barn, Maurice’s and Justice.

Charming Shoppes’s financial figures have shown signs of improvement since Anthony Romany took over as president and CEO last March. Its adjusted EBITDA for fiscal year 2011 improved $62.3% to $81.4 million, and it ended the year with $168.6 million in cash, and increase of $51.1 million. Its ecommerce sales also rose 17% in the fourth quarter.