Gap Inc. is splitting into two. The retailer said Thursday that it's creating two independent publicly traded companies—low-priced Old Navy and a yet-to-be named company, which will consist of the iconic Gap brand, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix, and Hill City. The San Francisco-based company said the spin-off will enable each company to focus on flexibility and pare down costs, the AP reports. The company also said that it will be shuttering 230 Gap brand stores over the next two years. Upon separation, Gap Inc. shareholders are expected to receive a pro-rata stock distribution and as a result own shares in both the new company and Old Navy in equal proportion. The deal is expected to close in 2020.
Gap's stock surged 24% in after-market trading. The split-up, which followed a comprehensive board review, comes as Old Navy has been thriving, while Gap and Banana Republic have struggled. "It's clear that Old Navy's business model and customers have increasingly diverged from our specialty brands over time, and each company now requires a different strategy to thrive moving forward," said Robert Fisher, Gap Inc.'s chairman. Gap's current CEO, Art Peck, will hold the same position at the new company after the separation. Sonia Syngal, current CEO of Old Navy, will continue to lead the brand as a stand-alone company, which has about $8 billion in annual revenue. The new company that Peck will run has about $9 billion in annual revenue. The new company will be based in Gap Inc.'s current headquarters and Old Navy will remain at its current headquarters, both located in San Francisco.
(Read more Gap