Retail & Consumer

L Brands plans to spin off Victoria's Secret, not sell

2 minute read

May 11 (Reuters) - L Brands Inc (LB.N) said on Tuesday it plans to spin off its Victoria's Secret business into a standalone company, capping a year of weighing strategic options for the brand including a sale.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company held talks with multiple interested buyers while reviewing its lingerie line, but concluded that a spin-off would offer more value to its shareholders than a sale.

Victoria's Secret went under review after a failed attempt to sell a majority stake to buyout firm Sycamore in 2020, when the brand had to close shops and furlough staff to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

The New York Times' DealBook division earlier on Tuesday reported, citing sources, that L Brands received several bids over $3 billion for Victoria's Secret, but the offers did not match what it expects to get in a spinoff.

Victoria's Secret expects to be valued between $5 billion and $7 billion in a spinoff to L Brands shareholders, the NYT report said.

L Brands did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on the valuation of the brand.

A Victoria's Secret store is pictured in Liverpool, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Liverpool, Britain, June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Molly Darlington/File Photo

After the company splits into two public units - Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret - L Brands top boss Andrew Meslow will lead the personal care brand while Victoria's Secret Chief Martin Waters will head the new standalone lingerie business.

The deal is expected close in August.

L Brands also expects sales for the first quarter ended May 1 to be $3.02 billion, up from $1.65 billion a year earlier, with revenue growth across both banners.

Analysts on average expect net sales of $2.89 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company also expects to report adjusted earnings per share of about $1.25, up from its prior range of 85 cents to $1.

Shares in L Brands fell 2.6% in premarket trading.

Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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