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Ascena Retail to acquire Charming Shoppes
02
May '12
• Acquisition provides highly compelling strategic fit
• Transaction expected to be neutral or slightly accretive to Ascena's earnings in the first full year of combined operations and increasingly accretive thereafter
• Brings Lane Bryant, Catherines and Fashion Bug brands into the Ascena family

Ascena Retail Group Inc. and Charming Shoppes Inc. jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Ascena will acquire Charming Shoppes in a cash transaction valued at approximately $890 million.

Ascena has agreed to make a cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of Charming Shoppes common stock at a price of $7.35 per share. The tender offer is expected to commence within 10 business days. Subject to customary conditions and approvals, the transaction is expected to close during the second calendar quarter of 2012.

Founded in 1940 and headquartered in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Charming Shoppes is a leading apparel retailer specializing in women's plus-size apparel. Charming Shoppes is the parent company of three distinct brands - Lane Bryant, Catherines Plus Sizes and Fashion Bug - and operates over 1,800 retail stores nationwide and store-related e-commerce websites. Charming Shoppes also operates Figi's, a direct marketing business.

"Charming Shoppes is a superb strategic fit for Ascena," said Ascena President and CEO David Jaffe. "A key component of our growth strategy over the past several years has been to make highly selective and powerful acquisitions.

“We've built a family of retail brands, each serving a unique customer niche, with a culture that embraces the sharing of resources, new ideas and talented team members. Over the past few years, we have welcomed into our family new brands and new team members while delivering increasing value to shareholders. We believe that Charming Shoppes will be no exception."

"The Board of Directors of Charming Shoppes is pleased with this transaction, which represents the outcome of the strategic review and extensive sale process we commenced on December 1, 2011," said Michael Goldstein, Chairman of the Board of Charming Shoppes.

“In addition to partnering with a buyer that can support the future growth and development of our businesses, the $7.35 per share consideration represents a premium of 25% to the closing market price of Charming Shoppes common stock on May 1, 2012 and an 89% premium to the unaffected share price of Charming Shoppe's common stock on November 30, 2011, the day prior to our announcement of our strategic review process. We are confident that this transaction is in the best interests of our shareholders."

Anthony M. Romano, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charming Shoppes said, "I would like to say how pleased we are to join the Ascena Retail Group. David and his team have an excellent track record of acquiring and seamlessly integrating brands with a strong market niche and growth potential, hallmarks of our Charming Shoppes' brands.

“While we are proud of our progress and accomplishments and believe our brands are now poised for growth, this business combination is extremely powerful, offers a compelling premium in recognition of our significant progress and is in the best interests of our shareholders. The Ascena team are some of the best retail executives in the business, and they have built a world-class specialty retailing organization."

Charming Shoppes Inc

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