Authentic Brands, co-owner of Brooks Brothers, Forever 21 and others, to go public

JCPenney storefront

Authentic Brands Group, which has amassed an extensive retail portfolio by acquiring struggling brands, has filed for an initial public offering.

The brand management  conglomerate holds the license to more than 30 brands, ranging from entertainment brands such as Marilyn Monroe and Shaquille O'Neal to retail brands Juicy Couture, Jones New York and, most recently, Izod, Van Heusen and Arrow. Authentic Brands has partnered with Simon Property Group and, in some cases, Brookfield Asset Management on the acquisition of such brands as Brooks Brothers, Forever 21, Aéropostale and Eddie Bauer. It also was a strategic partner in the acquisition of J.C. Penney by Simon and Brookfield.

"We are brand owners, curators and guardians," CEO Jamie Salter wrote in the company’s filing. “We don't manage stores, inventory, or supply chains. We don't manufacture anything. We are a licensing business and are purely focused on brand identity and marketing."

The initial offering is for $100 million, a figure recorded for filing purposes. The amount could increase.

According to Authentic Brands prospectus, the brands in its portfolio  generated approximately $10 billion in sales in 2020. The company, which  most of its revenue from licensing fees, had total revenue of $489 million in 2020, with net income of $211 million. Salter said the company’s financial model is asset-light, generates strong margins and is highly capital efficient.

“We generate over 70% Adjusted EBITDA margins, with diversity across brands, licensees, channels and geographies,” he wrote.


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