The Ascena Retail Group, which also owns retail brands Lane Bryant, Dress Barn, and Cacique, has agreed to buy Ann Inc., which includes the Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lou & Grey brands.
The cash and stock deal is valued at $2.16 billion, doesn’t need the approval of shareholders, and will close later this year.
Ann Inc.’s stock rose more than 19% upon the announcement Monday in premarket trading.
This move makes sense for the Ascena Retail Group, which has expertise in the specialty apparel space, and could be a godsend for Ann Inc. The women’s apparel retailer has struggled lately, buffeted by changing consumer tastes and declining mall traffic.
But the company also has many strengths. While it’s no longer the first place women think of for workwear as it once was, the retailer maintains a reputation for professional style.