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Limited Buys Canada's La Senza

The move will expand the retail giant's lingerie business beyond Victoria's Secret.

Limited Brands


said Wednesday that it agreed to acquire Canadian lingerie retailer La Senza for roughly $628 million, a move that will expand the retail giant's intimate apparel holdings beyond its popular Victoria's Secret chain in the U.S.

Limited, which also owns brands such as Express and Bath & Body Works, also reported third-quarter earnings that were slightly shy of analysts' estimates.

Limited said it will pay C$48.25 for La Senza, representing a 48% premium to the company's closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange Tuesday.

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"La Senza is a great strategic fit with our intimate apparel business, and their international infrastructure, real estate expertise, and operating model will also be great assets to us as we look to enhance our capabilities to meet our strategic growth initiatives internationally," said Leslie Wexner, Limited's chairman and CEO.

Montreal-based La Senza owns 318 stores in Canada, and licensees operate a further 327 stores in 34 other countries.

Limited, meanwhile operates 3,534 stores in the U.S.

Limited said separately Wednesday that it swung to a third-quarter profit of $23.5 million, or 6 cents a share, from a year-earlier loss of $683,000, or less than 1 cent a share. Analysts, on average, predicted earnings of 7 cents a share.

Sales rose to $2.11 billion from $1.89 billion, while same-store sales jumped 10%.

For the fourth quarter, Limited forecast earnings of $1.07 to $1.14 a share, compared with Wall Street's projection of $1.14. The company anticipates full-year earnings of $1.66 to $1.73 a share; analysts target fiscal-year EPS of $1.73.