By Khadeeja Safdar and Cara Lombardo
L Brands Inc. is near a deal to sell control of Victoria’s Secret to a private-equity firm in a transaction that values the lingerie brand at about $1.1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Sycamore Partners is expected to buy 55% of Victoria’s Secret and take the struggling business private, the people said. L Brands (NYS:LB) is expected to keep a 45% stake in the separate company, which will include the Pink chain. After shedding several brands in recent years, L Brands’ operations would be reduced to running the Bath & Body Works chain.
Leslie Wexner, the embattled billionaire who has run the retail company for more than 50 years, will step down from his roles as CEO and chairman, the people said. He is expected to remain on the L Brands board and retain stakes in both companies, they said. He currently owns about 17% of L Brands shares.
A deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, these people said. The Wall Street Journal first reported that L Brands was in talks with Sycamore and that Wexner was in discussions to step aside as chief executive of the company.
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