L Brands Inc. and Sycamore Partners have agreed to terminate their previously announced transaction to sell Victoria’s Secret. The company plans to establish Bath & Body Works as a pure-play public company and take the necessary steps to prepare the Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Victoria’s Secret Beauty and PINK businesses to operate as a separate, standalone company.

In addition, the company’s previously announced changes to the board will take effect as of L Brands’ 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders on May 14:

  • Leslie Wexner will step down as CEO and chairman of the board of L Brands. He will remain a board member as chairman emeritus.
  • Bath & Body Works CEO Andrew Meslow will become CEO of L Brands and join the board.
  • Sarah Nash will become chair of the Board.
  • Allan Tessler, current lead independent director, Gordon Gee and Raymond Zimmerman will retire from the board.

Stuart Burgdoerfer, current CFO of L Brands, will become interim CEO of Victoria’s Secret, effective immediately.

Nash stated, “Like all retailers, the company faces an extremely challenging business environment. Our board believes that it is in the best interests of the company, our stockholders and our associates to focus our efforts entirely on navigating this environment to address those challenges and positioning our brands for success rather than engaging in costly and distracting litigation to force a partnership with Sycamore. We are implementing significant cost reduction actions and performance improvements at Victoria’s Secret, while continuing to drive strong growth at Bath & Body Works.”