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Canadian lingerie retailer La Senza Corp. is being acquired by Limited Brands Inc., the owner of long-time American rival Victoria's Secret, in a $710-million (Canadian) deal.

The friendly deal, announced late Wednesday, would see Columbus, Ohio-based Limited Brands scoop up all the outstanding shares of La Senza for $48.25 per share in cash.

The offer represents a premium of 47.8 per cent based on the $32.65 closing price for La Senza shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The transaction continues a recent trend of well-known Canadian companies in retail, mining and energy being acquired by foreign buyers.

Earlier this year, iconic miners Falconbridge and Inco Ltd. were bought by Swiss and Brazilian companies. As well, CP Ships, Fairmont Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels. Centurion International Energy and Hudson's Bay Co. have all been bought by companies or investors in Europe, the Middle East and the United States.

La Senza, which dominates the Canadian market for lingerie and related products, had put itself up for sale earlier this year.

"We have been careful to choose the right partner and the right opportunity to benefit our organization, not only in Canada, but throughout the world," said La Senza chairman and CEO Irv Teitelbaum in a release.

"Given our companies' similar characteristics, we believe Limited Brands, together with Victoria's Secret, are ideal partners for us. This combination represents a major strategic step forward enabling us to continue to further pursue La Senza's growth opportunities."

As part of the deal, Mr. Teitelbaum and vice-chairman Stephen Gross will remain in their respective positions, together with Laurence Lewin, president and chief operating officer who co-founded La Senza in 1990.

The trio together with all of the other holders of multiple voting shares, representing an aggregate of 48 per cent of La Senza's outstanding stock, have signed a lock-up agreement in connection with the deal.

La Senza will remain headquartered in Montreal. The company owns and operates 318 stores in Canada, and licensees operate a further 327 stores in 34 other countries.

"La Senza is a great strategic fit with our intimate apparel business, and their international infrastructure, real estate expertise, and operating model will also be great assets to us as we look to enhance our capabilities to meet our strategic growth initiatives internationally," said Leslie Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer of Limited Brands.

Limited Brands owns and operates 3,534 stores under the Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, Express, Limited Stores and other brand names in the United States.

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