NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — Victoria’s Secret, beset by falling sales and uncomfortable questions about its billionaire founder who has run the company for five decades, is being sold.
The company’s owner, L Brands, said that the private-equity firm Sycamore Brands will buy 55% of Victoria’s Secret for about $525 million. The Columbus, Ohio company will keep the remaining 45% stake.
Shares of the parent, L Brands, slid 14.6% in premarket trading Thursday.
The selling price signifies a marked decline for a brand with hundreds of stores that booked about $7 billion in revenue last year.
Sales at its stores are in decline because competition is increasing and tastes are changing. Victoria’s Secret suffered a 12% drop in same-store sales during the most recent holiday season. It said Thursday same-store sales declined 10% at Victoria’s Secret during the fourth quarter.
Victoria’s Secret website lists 24 locations in Massachusetts and four in New Hampshire.
L Brands has also come under scrutiny because its CEO, Les Wexner, has ties to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted on sex-trafficking charges.
Wexner will step down after the transaction is completed and become chairman emeritus.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)