The Limited's Plan Is, Well, Limited

IT ISN'T PERFECT, BUT BY now investors in The Limited will take what they can get. The retailing conglomerate on Mar. 28 proposed spinning off two chunks of its operations, one composed of its hot lingerie and personal-care businesses and another of its struggling women's apparel stores. But the parent company would retain 85% to 90% of the newly formed companies as well as specialty stores including Limited, Too, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Henri Bendel. At first blush, Wall Street loved the plan, sending long-languishing Limited shares up 12% on the news. Some analysts said, however, that the spinoffs will succeed only if The Limited is willing to give up bigger stakes in the units.

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