Sycamore Partners Acquires Chico's FAS, Expands KnitWell Group's Portfolio

Sycamore Partners, a renowned private equity firm, has completed the acquisition of Chico's FAS, integrating the company into its KnitWell Group portfolio. This strategic move brings Chico's, along with its other brands White House Black Market and Soma, into KnitWell's fold, joining other prominent apparel brands. The transaction marks a significant expansion for KnitWell Group, enhancing its presence in the specialty apparel sector in the United States.

Transaction Snapshot

  • Deal value: $1 billion
  • Deal type: All-cash transaction
  • Buyer: Sycamore Partners

The KnitWell Group, already comprising Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Talbots, along with oversight of Lane Bryant, now adds these three new brands to its repertoire. This acquisition significantly boosts KnitWell's annual sales, reaching around $6 billion. This consolidates KnitWell's stature as one of the largest specialty apparel companies in the U.S.

Lizanne Kindler, the Executive Chair and CEO of KnitWell Group, praised the acquisition, highlighting the complementary nature of the new brands to KnitWell's existing portfolio. She emphasized the group's commitment to empowering women through their apparel brands.

Following this acquisition, Chico's FAS shares have been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Advisory roles in the transaction were filled by Solomon Partners, L.P. for Chico's FAS, and UBS Investment Bank for Sycamore Partners. Legal advisories were provided by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP for Chico's FAS, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP for Sycamore Partners.

Chico's FAS CEO and President, Molly Langenstein, expressed enthusiasm for the new phase under Sycamore's ownership. She noted the aligned objectives of Chico's FAS and Sycamore Partners, focusing on customer-centric, digital-first approaches, and operational excellence. Langenstein looks forward to leveraging this partnership for enhanced success and growth.

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