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Ann Taylor parent sells Catherines for $40.8 million

Ascena Retail Group Inc., whose banners include Ann Taylor, Loft and Lane Bryant, is selling its plus-size Catherines brand for more than double what it was originally offered.

In a filing, Ascena, which filed for bankruptcy in July, announced the winning bid of $40.8 million from FullBeauty Brands Operations LLC for Catherine’s intellectual property assets and e-commerce business. FullBeauty, whose portfolio includes various plus-size brands, outbid City Chic Collective Ltd., which had made a stalking-horse offer of $16 million. FullBeauty is owned by Apax Partners and Charlesbank Capital Partners.

In its bankruptcy filing, Ascena announced plans to shut down Catherines and sell the brand’s intellectual property assets to City Chic. City Chic is now the back-up bidder, with a $39.9 million offer.

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