Ascena Retail Group completes approximately $2 billion acquisition of Ann

MarketsAssociated Press

The Ascena Retail Group on Friday completed its approximately $2 billion acquisition of the owner of Ann Taylor and Loft.

Ascena announced in May that it was buying the retailer. Ann Taylor and Loft will join a stable of retail clothing stores owned by Ascena, including Lane Bryant, Justice, Dress Barn and Cacique.

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A push for the sale of the New York-based Ann began in earnest last August when major shareholders Engine Capital LP and its partner Red Alder LLC urged the board to put the company on the block.

The retailer had suffered same-store sales declines as up-and-coming fast-casual clothing chains ate up market share.

Ascena, based in Mahwah, New Jersey, now owns more than 4,900 stores under a number of names in the U.S. and Canada.

Ann shareholders will own about 16 percent of Ascena. They'll get $37.34 in cash and 0.68 of a share of Ascena Retail Group Inc. stock in exchange for each of their shares. The companies put the total price at about $45.11 per share.

Ann will become an Ascena subsidiary.

Its shares will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange and trading will stop when the market closes on Friday.

The stock added 10 cents to $45.17 in midday trading.