Ascena Buying Ann Taylor

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ANNAscena Retail Group is buying Ann Inc., the owner of Ann Taylor and Loft, for about $2.16 billion, the company said on Monday.

Ann
Taylor and Loft will join a stable of women?s brands owned by Ascena,
including Lane Bryant , Dressbarn and Cacique. The combined company will
operate 4,900 stores with annual sales of more than $7.3 billion.

?The
transaction will make us part of a larger organization with a
diversified portfolio of brands focused on the women?s apparel market,?
said Ann CEO Kay Krill in a statement.

In the cash and stock
deal, Ann shareholders will receive $37.34 in cash and 68 cents per
share of Ascena stock for each share of Ann they own. The $47 per share
offer represents a 21% premium to Ann?s last closing price of $38.71.

Shares of Ann shot up 22% to $47.18 in premarket trading, while shares of Ascena rose 8%.

The
deal, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of both
companies, is expected to close in the second half of the year. Ascena
shareholder approval is not required.

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