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snopes 26 January 2011 07:47 PM

Suicide of Victoria's Secret founder
Comment: As told in the movie "The Social Network": the original creator
of the "Victoria's Secret" stores sold the company for $4 million. That
company sold the "Victoria's Secret" company to another company a few
years later for $500 million. After that, the original creator of
"Victoria's Secret" committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate

Seaching the internet I found the name of the original creator - Roy
Raymond - and he did commit suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge,
but I couldn't find anything mentioning that the company he sold it to -
The Limited - sold "Victoria's Secret" to another company. The only thing
I found said that "Limited Brands sold 75% of the Limited clothing chain
to firm Sun Capital Partners". No mention of the "Victoria's Secret"
chain ever being sold.

chillas 26 January 2011 09:48 PM

Les Wexner (creator of Limited Brands) bought Victoria's Secret from Raymond in 1982 for about $4M, that much is correct.

It wasn't until 2007 that Limited Brands sold the 75% stake to Sun Capital, for about $602M. (link)

Raymond, on the other hand, committed suicide in 1993.

So it was more than a "few years later", and it seems unlikely that the two things are linked.

GuardiansBeer 27 January 2011 05:56 PM

History of Victoria's Secret
The timeline on Limited indicates that the purchase was for $1M (as does a NY Times article. ( Wikipedia indicates $4M, but the referenced link (to a case study) is no longer valid.

It also appears that there is confusion between parent company Limited Brands (formerly The Limited Inc), The Limited (a store name) and Victoria’s Secret. Limited Brands is the parent company of Victoria’s Secret. It is so named because until 2007, Limited Brands was also the parent company to The Limited. In 2007 a 75% stake in The Limited was sold from Limited Brands to Sun Capital and remaining 25% was sold in 2010. Victoria’s Secret is still owned in full by Limited Brands (as is Bath and Body Works and several other brands).

Victoria’s Secret was started in 1977 by Roy Raymond. It was sold to Leslie Wexner (founder of The Limited, CEO of Limited Brands) in 1982 for either $1M or $4M. Between 1990 and 1994 (corresponding to the time of Roy Raymond’s suicide), Victoria’s Secret was the largest lingerie retailer in America and had revenues over $1B. In 1995 Victoria’s Secret was spun off from it’s parent company (at that time, The Limited Inc) as it’s own independent company called Intimate Brands Inc and posted $1.5B in sales that year (Intimate Brands Inc included VS as well as Bath & Body Works and other brands. It was owned in part by The Limited Inc). In 2002, Intimate Brands Inc was recombined into The Limited Inc and then changes its name to Limited Brands.

The stories about Roy Raymond jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge are also correct.

So, analyzing the story in The Social Network…
>> Selling Price >> Conflicting Info but $1M is the official selling price, not $4M
>> Reselling for $500M >> Not Correct, never happened
>> Original creator jumping off GG Bridge >> Correct
>> Two things being related >> Open to Interpretation

Answering the question posed in the first post >> No, Victoria’s Secret was only sold once (from Roy Raymond to The Limited Inc). It was spun off (1995) and recombined (2002) but was always owned at least in part by The Limited Inc (aka Limited Brands)


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