Discount fashion retailer Loehmann's Holdings Inc is to be bought by private investment firm Crescent Capital Investments Inc for about $177 million.

Under the $23 per share deal, Loehmann's will be acquired by an affiliate of Crescent in a one-step merger transaction.

The acquisition is expected to give the retailer more operational flexibility as a private company.

"This transaction represents a strong endorsement of Loehmann's by a successful private equity firm," Loehmann's CEO Robert Friedman said.

"We are confident we will have access to capital to fund our growth while gaining an invaluable long-term financial partner in Crescent."

Other companies owned by Crescent include aircraft builder Cirrus Industries Inc and café chain Caribou Coffee Company.