Victoria's Secret Could Fetch Up to $3.4 Billion for Owner L Brands

L Brands' stock jumped as analysts estimated the potential sale price of Victoria's Secret. The move followed a report that New York private-equity firm Sycamore Partners is nearing a deal for the lingerie brand.
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L Brands (LB) - Get Report shares strutted higher Monday amid reports that the retailer is nearing a deal to sell its Victoria's Secret lingerie brand to a New York private-equity firm.

The Columbus, Ohio, retailer's stock price jumped 2.1% to $24.08 as analysts rushed to estimate the potential sale price of Victoria's Secret.

The move followed CNBC's Sunday report that Sycamore Partners may be closing in on a deal as soon as this week for the intimate-apparel unit.

Victoria's Secret could fetch anywhere from $2 billion to $3.4 billion, wrote MKM analyst Roxane Meyer, Bloomberg reported.

Sycamore is the most likely bidder for Victoria's Secret and could use equity to finance the deal. L Brands, in turn, could use the cash to pay down its nearly $5.5 billion debt, the analyst said.

MKM maintained its neutral rating on L Brands stock, with an $18-a-share price target. That's below the Bloomberg-survey-derived average of $22 a share.

L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner's future role with the company is unclear, with revelations of his links to convicted sex predator Jeffrey Epstein and the poor performance of Victoria's Secret on his watch, CNBC reported.

A sale of Victoria's Secret would leave L Brands with the much better-performing Bath & Body Works as its flagship brand. The retailer's sales have risen steadily, so that it now accounts for half of L Brands' revenue, up from 15% previously, according to analysts at Jefferies.

Victoria's Secret has been criticized for sticking too long with its emphasis on sexy lingerie, even as market and consumer trends shifted toward an emphasis on comfort.