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M&S sells Brooks Brothers for £159m

LONDON - Marks & Spencer has sold its upmarket US menswear business, Brooks Brothers, for £159m.

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The company has been bought by Retail Brand Alliance, a privately-owned firm which runs the Casual Corner chain of clothing stores. Other companies that had been bidding for Brooks Brothers included Tommy Hilfiger Corporation and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Brooks Brothers was originally on the market as far back as March this year, when M&S announced it was to sell or close its loss-making businesses, but the sale was delayed after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The deal is still expected to be completed before the end of the financial year -- providing it is approved by regulators.

M&S decided to sell the loss-making business because it was not a good fit with the company's core strategy. Brooks Brothers reported half-year operating losses of £2.6m this year.

Brooks Brothers has struggled in recent years as customers have moved to a more casual style of dress.

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