BENSALEM, Pa. (AP) -- Charming Shoppes Inc. has started a tender offer to buy back $140.5 million in outstanding senior convertible notes due in 2014.
Ascena Retail Group Inc. bought Charming for $890 million this month and plans to close its remaining Fashion Bug stores by early next year.
Charming Shoppes' other brands include Lane Bryant and Catherines Plus Sizes.
Ascena already owns Dressbarn and Maurices for women of all ages and the Justice chain, which caters to girls ages 7 to 14. Buying Charming gave Ascena access to the large-size women's clothing market.
Now an Ascena subsidiary, Charming said Thursday that its offer to buy back its outstanding notes launched Thursday and expires July 26. Before Ascena bought Charming, the notes were convertible to Charming shares. Outside the tender offer, each $1,000 in principal on the notes is convertible to about $478 in cash. Under the new offer, each $1,000 in principal that's tendered will be exchanged for $1,000 in cash plus interest.
Charming is based in Bensalem, Pa., and Ascena is based in Suffern, N.Y.
Shares of Ascena Retail fell 42 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $18.02 by early afternoon. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $12 and $22.62.