Wedding dress retailer David's Bridal Inc is to be sold to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in a deal that values the company at $1.05bn and will see former Gap CEO Paul Pressler become its new chairman.

The retailer operates more than 300 stores across North America, and specialises in wedding gowns and special occasion dresses at affordable prices. The company has also moved its offer upmarket in recent years through an exclusive partnership with designer Vera Wang, under the White by Vera Wang brand.

"David's Bridal is a unique and well-positioned specialty retailer competing in a large and stable industry," said Richard Schnall, a partner at CD&R.

"We look forward to working closely with the company to build on its market leadership and scale advantages to grow in new market segments, channels, and geographies."

CD&R partner Kenneth Giuriceo added: "The company's strong brand awareness, exceptional service quality, deep product knowledge, and high performance levels are unmatched in the bridal customer segment and that is why we are so excited about the transaction."

The deal is expected in the fourth quarter, which is when CD&R operating partner Pressler will step into the role of chairman.

The David's Bridal chain was picked up by Federated Department Stores Inc back in 2005 as part of its acquisition of May Department Stores.

However, the business was sold to private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners for US$750m the following year as it did not fit in with the merged group's strategy to focus on the nationwide Macy's and Bloomingdale's brands.