Sale of Catherine’s nets Ascena Group $41M

A $40.8 million bid won FullBeauty Brands Operations LLC the intellectual property and e-commerce business of Ascena Retail Group Inc.’s plus-size apparel brand Catherines in a bankruptcy auction last week.

The bid, revealed in a filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, was more than twice as much as the $16 million previously offered by stalking horse bidder City Chic Collective Ltd.

The sale could be approved at a virtual hearing today, The Wall Street Journal reported.

City Chic, which acquired the e-commerce business of bankrupt Avenue Stores LLC last year for $17.2 million, has been named the backup bidder with a new $39.9 million offer.

New York-based FullBeauty’s portfolio of plus-size brands includes Woman Within, Roaman’s, Jessica London, Swimsuits For All, Ellos, and Ascena is the parent company of Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant.

Ascena Retail Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, announcing it would close all of its Catherines stores, a “significant number” of its Justice brand teen apparel stores and some Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey stores, including all stores across brands in Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

FullBeauty Brands filed for its own bankruptcy in February 2019 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, listing between $1 billion and $10 billion in liabilities, but emerged within 24 hours under a restructuring plan that gave ownership to a group of lenders and cut $900 million in debt, per Retail Dive.

Anne Stych is a staff writer for Bizwomen.

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