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Next to buy stake in Victoria’s Secret UK business
Posted on Tuesday, 15 September 2020 11:18
UK retailer Next has agreed terms for a deal that will see it pick up a stake in the UK unit of US lingerie player Victoria’s Secret.

No financial details of the deal have been disclosed and it is not clear when completion can be expected to occur.

Commenting on the transaction, Martin Waters, chief executive of L Brands, which operates Victoria’s Secret, said: “We are pleased to take this next step in our profit improvement plan for Victoria’s Secret.

“Next’s capabilities and experience in the UK market are substantial, and our partnership will provide meaningful growth opportunities for the business.”

His counterpart at Next, Lord Simon Wolfson, said the deal will enable the parties to grow the Victoria’s Secret brand in both the UK and Ireland.

Under the terms of the transaction, Next is partnering with Victoria’s Secret UK on a joint venture which will acquire a majority of the business’ assets.

Following completion, all stores in the UK and Ireland will be run by the newly-formed company, subject to terms being agreed with landlords, while the online operations will be folded into the new owner from Spring of next year.

Next will hold a 51.0 per cent stake in the joint venture, with Victoria’s Secret holding the balance.

Reports of a sale of the lingerie company’s UK operations emerged in June, after the business went into administration.

At the time, Sky News reported that both Next and fellow retailer Marks & Spencer, as well as one other unnamed suitor, were in the running to acquire the unit.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 235 deals worth a combined USD 7.50 billion, targeting clothing and clothing accessories stores operators announced worldwide during 2020 to date.

© Zephus Ltd