Simon Property Group has stepped in to help another bankrupt retailer.
Brooks Brothers has agreed to be acquired for $325 million by Sparc Group, a venture backed by the mall giant and apparel-licensing firm Authentic Brands Group. As part of the agreement, Sparc Group, which has previously acquired Aéropostale, Forever 21, Nautica and recently bid on Lucky Brand, has committed to keeping at least 125 Brooks Brothers stores open. The retailer has about 200 stores in North America. The sale is subject to bankruptcy court approval.
The 200-year-old Brooks Brothers, the nation’s oldest apparel company, filed for bankruptcy in July. While the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on sales as its stores went dark, the retailer has been struggling for some time under a heavy debt load, increased competition and the move to more casual workwear.
Sparc Group had initially submitted a $305 million offer for Brooks Brothers, which the retailer accepted as a stalking horse bid for its assets at a planned bankruptcy auction. The deadline for the auction passed with no rival bids. Brooks Brothers agreed to the purchase after Sparc raised its bid to $325 million. The offer covers the vast majority of the company’s global business operations as a going concern as well as its intellectual property portfolio.
Brooks Brothers’ restructuring counsel is Weil, Gotshal, & Manges LLP, its investment banker is PJ Solomon L.P., and its financial advisor is Ankura Consulting Group.