Authentic Brands Group and the SPARC Group keep expanding their portfolios.
The two companies have entered into an agreement to purchase Eddie Bauer from PSEB Group, an operating company owned by Golden Gate Capital. ABG will own Eddie Bauer’s intellectual property, and the brand’s core operating business will become a part of the SPARC portfolio of brands. (SPARC is a joint venture between Authentic and Simon Property Group.)
Financial terms of the deal, expected to close by June 1, were not disclosed.
Eddie Bauer was acquired out of bankruptcy in 2009 by Golden Gate Capital. In 2018, Golden Gate established PSEB, which was composed of Eddie Bauer and Pacific Sunwear, which it also bought out of bankruptcy. In February, Kohl's Corp. partnered with Eddie Bauer to carry the brand at hundreds of Kohl's stores and online starting this fall.
“We have enjoyed a highly successful partnership with Eddie Bauer since 2009 and are proud of the company’s tremendous transformation during that time,” said Neale Attenborough, PSEB chairman and operating partner at Golden Gate Capital. “With significant scale, unique brand-building capabilities and deep operational acumen, we are confident that ABG and SPARC are the perfect partners to enable Eddie Bauer to continue to flourish.”
ABG said it will leverage Eddie Bauer’s technical performance attributes to extend into new outdoor categories and distribution. International growth is also an important part of the brand strategy. Near-term launches in China and Korea will drive the initial phase of that growth.
“Eddie Bauer has a 100-year history of unparalleled authority in the outdoor space,” said Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of ABG. “The global outdoor market opportunity has grown exponentially over the last year and we are ready to hit the ground running and guide this brand into new frontiers in partnership with SPARC, Damien and the rest of the Eddie Bauer team.”
After the acquisition is complete, Eddie Bauer will become part of the SPARC organization. The outdoor apparel retailer will remain headquartered in the Seattle area under the leadership of current president Damien Huang. The Eddie Bauer team, in partnership with SPARC, will manage the brand’s sourcing, product design and development, wholesale, planning and allocation, and e-commerce as well as its 300 stores, the majority of which located in the U.S. and Canada.
The purchase is the latest in a series of deals for ABG and SPARC. Following the close of the transaction, SPARC’s and ABG’s combined brand portfolio will include Eddie Bauer, Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand, Forever 21, Aeropostale and more.
“The addition of Eddie Bauer introduces a new and highly-differentiated expertise to the SPARC organization,” said Marc Miller, CEO of SPARC. “The brand pushes the boundaries of technical innovation and performance with award-winning outdoor product offerings, bringing an entirely new component to our fashion and lifestyle brand portfolio. We are excited to work closely with the Eddie Bauer team as we help drive the brand forward.”
Added Eddie Bauer president Huang: “We are excited to partner with ABG and SPARC, who recognize the significant opportunities ahead, and are well-positioned to help us maximize the brand’s full potential and expand our global presence as a leader among outdoor and active brands.”
Guggenheim Securities LLC is serving as financial advisor to PSEB and Golden Gate Capital.