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Oct 12, 2018

La Senza parent L Brands pursuing 'alternatives' for lingerie retailer

L Brands shares spike on plan to sell La Senza

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MONTREAL -- The parent company of La Senza says it is pursuing "alternatives" for the beleaguered Canadian lingerie retailer after about a decade of ownership.

News of L Brands Inc.'s possible search for a buyer boosted its shares by 11.7 per cent to an intraday high of nearly US$32 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. By Friday morning, the Ohio-based company was trading above US$31.

L Brands, which also owns Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, forecasts La Senza will post an operating loss of US$40 million and sales of about US$250 million this year.

The company has been battling competition from American Eagle Outfitters' Aerie as well as newer lingerie retailers such as Adore Me. Its shares have plunged by about 68 per cent since October 2015, when they hovered at around US$96.

L Brands bought La Senza, which was founded in Quebec, for about US$700 million in 2007, when the brand had more than 300 stores in Canada and more than double that number abroad.

L Brands currently has 119 company-owned La Senza stores in Canada and five in the U.S., along with 188 non-company-owned international outlets.