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Jan 29, 2020

Victoria's Secret owner jumps on report Les Wexner may sell brand

Victoria's Secret

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Shares of L Brands Inc. jumped on Wednesday morning following a report by the Wall Street Journal that the founder Les Wexner may step down and sell the beleaguered lingerie brand.

Discussions are underway and could result in a full or partial sale of Victoria’s Secret, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The stock surged as much as 16 per cent to US$23.80 in early trading. The shares have posted four consecutive annual declines in value, including a 29-per-cent drop in 2019.

Wexner, 82, has come under increasing pressure to turn the chain around as upstarts like Aerie and ThirdLove take market share from Victoria’s Secret. The appeal of his company’s push-up bra aesthetic has faded against competing products that are marketed as more comfortable and body-positive.