Ascena Retail Group – owner of the Ann Taylor, Loft and Lane Bryant chains – is to sell its Justice tween fashion brand for US$90m to an entity formed by brand management company Bluestar Alliance.

The move will see Justice Brand Holdings acquire the intellectual property of the brand, certain other Justice brand assets and assume certain liabilities. As part of the deal, a wind down of all Justice locations is expected to conclude by early 2021.

Bluestar’s $90m bid is understood to be more than $10m higher than its original stalking horse bid which was agreed last month.

“The conclusion of the sale process for our Justice brand is a significant step forward in our efforts to complete our restructuring process and maximise value for all our stakeholders,” said Ascena CEO Gary Muto.

“The optimisation of our portfolio better positions Ascena for long-term success and supports our vision for the future. As we seamlessly transition ownership of Justice over the coming weeks, we remain committed to delivering meaningful experiences for our customers every day.”

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the month.

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