L Brands CEO in talks to step aside and sell Victoria's Secret: WSJ

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© Reuters. A customer passes by an L Brands Inc., Victoria's Secret retail store in Manhattan, New York© Reuters. A customer passes by an L Brands Inc., Victoria’s Secret retail store in Manhattan, New York

(Reuters) – Victoria’s Secret-owner L Brands (N:) Chief Executive Officer Leslie Wexner is in talks to step aside from the role and is exploring strategic alternatives for the lingerie brand, the Wall street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Shares of the company jumped 13% in premarket trading.

The discussions are ongoing and could result in a full or partial sale of Victoria’s Secret, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Wexner, 82, has been leading the company since 1963.

More recently Wexner was in focus for his association with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was entrusted with managing the billionaire’s personal finances and served as trustee of his charitable foundation.

Epstein was arrested and charged last year with trafficking dozens of underage girls as young as 14 from at least 2002 to 2005.

L Brands did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Sales at Victoria’s secret have fallen for at least four quarters as it grappled with rising competition and struggled to maintain a strong brand image.

Victoria’s Secret accounted for nearly half of the company’s revenue of $13.24 billion in 2019.

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