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Ann Taylor parent Ascena shares jump after deal to sell stake in Maurices for $300 million

Tonya Garcia

Ascena Retail Group Inc. shares jumped 14% in Monday premarket trading after it announced an agreement to sell a majority stake in Maurices, the women's clothing chain, to private-equity firm OpCapita LLP for about $300 million. The move is part of a portfolio review that is on track to yield run-rate cost savings of $300 million by July. Other brands in the Ascena portfolio include Ann Taylor and Dressbarn. David Jaffe, Ascena's chief executive, said in a statement the company has a plan for an additional $150 million in savings, "which will drive operating margin expansion." Ascena will continue to support Maurices' business services platform, including sourcing and supply chain. Ascena's stock has slumped more than 57% in 2019 while the S&P 500 index has gained 11.7% for the year to date.