La Senza par­ent pur­su­ing ‘al­ter­na­tives’ for Cana­dian lin­gerie re­tailer

L Brands Inc. bought Que­bec com­pany in 2007

Medicine Hat News - - BUSINESS -

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.

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