Mast Global Fashions, the third-party apparel sourcing division of Limited Brands, is to be spun off as a standalone company after the US retailer sold a controlling stake in the business to New York based private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

Limited Brands today (3 November) said it will retain a 49% stake in this separate apparel production and supply company, while Sycamore has a 51% interest. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  

Limited Brands, which operates the Victoria's Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel stores, will also retain 100% ownership of its separate sourcing operation for the intimate apparel and personal care/beauty businesses.

"Sycamore shares our values and our approach to business, and we know that they are the right partner to work with us to provide the resources necessary to expand this third-party apparel sourcing business," said Leslie Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer of Limited Brands.

"That expansion will benefit all of the new company's customers, including Limited Brands.  The change also enables our Limited Brands team to continue our focus on our strategic priorities - growing our intimate apparel, beauty and personal care retail brands."

Mast Global Fashions is one of the three largest apparel sourcing companies in the world. James Schwartz, who has been with Mast for more than 28 years, will lead the new company as its president and chief executive officer.

"We expect to draw upon the company's proven experience in sourcing and significant global reach to solidify and grow its leadership position in the apparel industry," added Sycamore managing director Stefan Kaluzny.