Private-equity firm Versa Capital Management has finalised the acquisition of United Retail Group's operating business, which began bankruptcy proceedings in February.

The new company, Avenue Stores, has acquired all the assets of United Retail Group, including 246 stores. Before going into bankruptcy, the company had 433 Avenue stores and an e-commerce site. 

Avenue Stores has hired most of the retailer's head office staff in Rochelle Park, New Jersey as well as its distribution centre and store employees.

Avenue Stores has 90 days to retain additional stores, with a final targeted total of around 300. During that time, the company said it may close and consolidate certain stores in order to finalise a geographic footprint that maximises profitability and sales growth potential.

Elizabeth Williams, a former member of Charming Shoppe's leadership team and president of its Fashion Bug brand, will lead the company as CEO. Jim Smith, who is currently CFO of Bob's stores, has been appointed as CFO.

Williams said: "We will be working closely with our vendor partners as we develop these new programmes. Our goal is to make Avenue the leading US retailer for plus-sized women."

Gregory Segall, Versa CEO and chairman of Avenue Stores, added: "While the new business will operate a condensed store base, we intend to return to new store growth at the appropriate time.

"In the meantime, there's a great deal of work to do. Avenue Stores is a terrific brand; we want to see it achieve its full potential."