L Brands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202062875/lastsale LB -0.78% stock soared 12.6% in Wednesday premarket trading after The Wall Street Journal reported that the company is exploring strategic alternatives for the Victoria's Secret lingerie brand, including a full or partial sale. The report also says Chief Executive Les Wexner is in discussions to step down from that role, though he could stay on as chairman. Analysts have suspected for some time that a transaction was in Victoria's Secret's future. The brand has struggled to find its footing as changing tastes took a toll on the company's earnings. Wexner had also become embroiled in the Jeffrey Epstein case through a business relationship that also included a role for Epstein in the Victoria's Secret business. Wexner, who has run the company since 1963, said in a letter that Epstein misappropriated a large sum of Wexner's money. L Brands' Bath & Body Works has surged even as Victoria's Secret has slumped. L Brands shares are down nearly 26% over the past year while the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +2.28% is up 24.1% for the period.