Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands Group (ABG) have teamed up in an unlikely deal to acquire bankrupt denim maker Lucky Brand for $140.1 million. The partnership was tapped by a bankruptcy court to revive the ailing brand.
In a Thursday announcement, the partnership spoke of the planned venture, naming it Sparc. Simon and ABG will take over core licensing and operating partner roles for Lucky, effectively quarterbacking all product design, sourcing, and the running of its retail locations as well as e-commerce site.
Commenting on the deal, ABG founder and chief executive said, “This acquisition will boost the value of our portfolio to more than $13 billion in global retail sales annually,” further adding, “Lucky Brand’s DNA resonates strongly with today’s youth and we see tremendous opportunity to unlock its value in key territories around the world.”
Currently, Lucky Brand has 175 stores in North America. Also, Lucky Brand products are found on the shelves of multiple department stores. It is unknown whether Sparc intends to close any of these retail locations in order to cut down on cost.
Lucky Brand originally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July after an abysmal first quarter, largely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns in place and American wallets tight on cash, it is no wonder that the brand has struggled to keep pace with the rapidly changing economic reality.
On top of Lucky Brand, Sparc also acquired Brooks Brothers in a deal earlier this week. The retailer was purchased for $325 million in order to keep the doors open on at least 125 stores.
As more retailers continue to face hardship, it is entirely plausible to think that we will see increasing numbers of large deals like the ones made for Lucky Brand and Brooks Brothers. Big capital investments are likely the saving grace for ailing companies.
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