Fast Retailing, which operates the Uniqlo brand, is to acquire a majority stake in fashion firm J Brand as it looks to strengthen its position in the US.

The Japanese retailer will buy the 80.1% stake from J Brand management and private equity firm Star Revenue Capital. J Brand management will own the remaining interest.

Fast Retailing said the acquisition will strengthen its presence in the US market.

"Our planned acquisition will extend the Fast Retailing group's brand portfolio among the affordable luxury apparel category and strengthen our group's capability in the denim category," said Tadashi Yanai, chairman, president and CEO of Fast Retailing.

J Brand CEO Jeff Rudes added: "J Brand's proposed partnership with Fast Retailing has the potential to generate great expansion opportunities in all major markets around the world." 

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing and regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of December. J Brand's existing management team will continue to operate the company.

J Brand was founded by Rudes in 2005. In 2010, Star Avenue Capital acquired a controlling interest in the company. The fashion brand reported net sales of US$124 last year.