Ascena completes Charming Shoppes buyout

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SUFFERN, N.Y. (AP) — Ascena Retail Group Inc. has completed its buyout of Layne Bryant owner Charming Shoppes Inc. and is taking steps to shed parts of the acquired business that it doesn't want.

Ascena announced in May that it was buying Charming Shoppes for about $890 million. The deal gives Ascena access to the large-size women's clothing market with Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes stores.

But Ascena said Friday it plans to close the remaining Fashion Bug operations by early next year. Charming Shoppes had closed 124 of its Fashion Bug stores last year. The Charming Shoppes web site says there are about 600 Fashion Bug stores in 43 states.

Ascena also says it is considering selling the profitable and growing Figi's business because it is not a clear fit with the clothing brands.

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