Women's wear retailer Chico's FAS Inc is to buy privately held catalogue and online clothing seller Boston Proper Inc in a $205m deal revealed today (17 August) as it booked a 42% hike in second quarter profit.

"Boston Proper's brand focus is highly complementary to our existing brands' customer experience, adds significant volume to our direct-to-consumer channel and provides us new opportunities to grow market share," said David Dyer, Chico's CEO and president.

"I am also very pleased that our companies are well aligned culturally," he added, noting: "I believe Boston Proper will be a terrific growth vehicle for Chico's FAS and is a great addition to our brand portfolio of Chico's, White House|Black Market and Soma Intimates."

Boca Raton, Florida based Boston Proper will operate as a stand-alone division within Chico's FAS, under the leadership of its current president and CEO Sheryl Clark, who in turn will report to Mr Dyer. Michael Tiernan, former CEO and current chairman, will be retiring.

The catalogue firm saw a double-digit percentage rise in revenues to $110m for fiscal year 2010, and in the year-to-date its sales have grown by around 13%.

"Our focus will be to accelerate our growth by delivering more value to our customer base and attracting new customers to our brand," said Boston Proper's president and CEO Sheryl Clark.