Ascena announces it is selling off Justice brand through bankruptcy auction

Ascena Retail Group, the Mahwah-based owner of brands including Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, has agreed to sell its Justice brand’s intellectual property, e-commerce business and other assets as part of its bankruptcy restructuring, it announced this week.

Ascena is optimizing its brand portfolio through the bankruptcy process, and prospective buyer Premier Brands Justice LLC will serve as a “stalking horse bidder” in a bankruptcy auction process, Ascena said in a news release. The auction process will provide more details on the fate of the remaining Justice retail locations, it added.

“A sale of the Justice intellectual property, e-commerce business and other assets brings us closer to the completion of our restructuring process,” CEO Gary Muto said in a prepared statement. “All of our restructuring activities are focused on maximizing value for all of our stakeholders and positioning the Ascena brands for long-term success.

“With a reduced store footprint and a more focused collection of go-forward brands, we believe that Ascena will emerge from Chapter 11 better able to strategically invest in our future and generate sustainable, profitable growth. Justice remains a brand beloved by tween girls, and we look forward to a competitive auction process.”