Ascena Retail Group has completed its acquisition of Ann Inc, owner of the Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lou & Grey brands, making it one of North America's largest apparel retailers.

The deal, which gives Ann Inc an enterprise value of around US$2bn, means the combined company now has over 4,900 stores, with $7.4bn in trailing twelve month sales. Ascena has identified $150m in annual run rate synergies, which are expected by end of the third year post-closing.

"This powerful merger joins two strong and highly complementary organisations, and dramatically reinforces our leadership position in women's specialty apparel retailing," said Ascena president and CEO David Jaffe.

"The acquisition positions Ascena as the third largest specialty apparel retailer and the single largest focused on women's apparel, with a diverse brand portfolio that serves women of all ages, sizes and demographics."

While Ann Inc president and CEO Kay Krill added: "Combined with Ascena, we have a stronger competitive position and financial base as part of the nation's largest specialty retailer focused exclusively on women's apparel."

Excluding transaction and integration expenses, the acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings per share within the first year post-closing, accelerating to greater than 20% accretion to EPS thereafter.

Under the terms of the transaction, Ann Inc stockholders will receive $37.34 in cash and 0.68 of a share of Ascena common stock for each share of Ann Inc common stock.