Ascena Retail Group announced on Tuesday that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement to sell the intellectual property, e-commerce business and other assets of its Justice brand.Ascena intends to conduct a court-supervised auction process, which among other conditions, will include a decision about the remaining Justice retail locations.
The move is part of the New Jersey-based groups efforts to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.“A sale of the Justice intellectual property, e-commerce business and other assets brings us closer to the completion of our restructuring process. All of our restructuring activities are focused on maximizing value for all of our stakeholders and positioning the ascena brands for long-term success,” explained CEO, Gary Muto, in a news statement.
“With a reduced store footprint and a more focused collection of go-forward brands, we believe that ascena will emerge from Chapter 11 better able to strategically invest in our future and generate sustainable, profitable growth. Justice remains a brand beloved by tween girls, and we look forward to a competitive auction process.”
The owner of Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in July, after succumbing to the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tween retailer Justice permanently closed over 600 stores this summer. The Justice brand, formerly Limited Too, joined Ascena in 2009. Before the store closures, it operated 826 specialty retail and outlet stores.
Most recently, Ascena also announced that it will exit its plus-size apparel brand, Catherines. The intellectual property assets of its Catherines brand is being acquired by FullBeauty Brands Operations, LLC, as part of the bankruptcy process.
Likewise, in February, the company completed the wind-down of Dressbarn, having already sold its Maurices brand to an affiliate of OpCapita LLP for $300 million in May 2019.
Ascena managed to accumulate debt over the years due to an aggressive acquisition strategy.