// Next closes deal with Victoria’s Secret, acquiring the majority of assets
// The UK division of Victoria’s Secret fell into administration on June 5
Next has signed a joint venture deal for Victoria’s Secret’s UK business after months of speculation, saving over 500 jobs.
The lingerie retailer’s US parent company L Brands said it has formed a joint venture with British chain Next, which will acquire the majority of the assets of Victoria’s Secret’s UK business.
The UK division of the lingerie giant fell into administration on June 5 and placed over 800 jobs at risk.
Next will own 51 per cent of the venture, while Victoria’s Secret will have 49 per cent. Financial terms were not released.
The partnership means Next will operate all of the firm’s stores in the UK and Ireland, subject to agreeing to terms with landlords.
Victoria’s Secret UK has 25 leasehold sites and employed over 800 people.
When the business collapsed, the majority of colleagues were on furlough and no redundancies were announced.
Next chief executive Lord Simon Wolfson said Next is “very pleased at the prospect of working in partnership to expand Victoria’s Secret”.
L Brands International chief executive Martin Waters said: “We are pleased to take this next step in our profit improvement plan for Victoria’s Secret.
“Next’s capabilities and experience in the UK market are substantial, and our partnership will provide meaningful growth opportunities for the business.”
The UK online arm, currently operated by Victoria’s Secret in the US, will be folded into the joint venture in Spring 2021.
Deloitte administrator Rob Harding said the deal has secured the future of more than 500 employees in the UK.
Earlier this year, Next had gone head to head with fellow British retailer Marks and Spencer in the race to acquiring the UK division of Victoria’s Secret.