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PE Firm General Atlantic backs ABG, Owner of Juicy Couture and Aéropostale

October 31, 2017, 07:28 AM
Filed Under: Retail

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of a portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands, including Juicy Couture, Jones New York and Aéropostale, announced that General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, has made a strategic investment in the company. General Atlantic joins existing ABG investors Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. and Lion Capital.

ABG has experienced significant growth since it was founded in 2010. Today, the company’s portfolio generates over $5 billion in annual retail sales and boasts more than 29 brands that span the luxury, specialty, and mid-tier retail channels. ABG’s portfolio is diversified across the lifestyle, sports, celebrity and entertainment sectors and includes brands such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Shaquille O’Neal, Juicy Couture, Aéropostale, Jones New York, Neil Lane, Frye, Spyder, Prince, and its most recent brand acquisition, Herve Leger.

“Our partnership with General Atlantic marks an important next phase of growth for ABG,” said Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ABG. “General Atlantic’s extensive operational experience across the retail sector combined with the breadth of its global network will provide us with even greater opportunities to scale our business and to broaden our portfolio around the world.”

ABG is an innovator in the licensing industry and has created unique partnerships with brand and company stakeholders that amplify brand exposure and drive entry into new markets. In 2016, ABG and two of the world’s largest retail real estate companies, General Growth Properties and Simon Property Group, acquired specialty retailer Aéropostale to re-energize the brand for long-term performance and growth. In 2015, ABG acquired a majority stake in the Shaquille O’Neal brand, led by NBA Hall-of-Famer and mega influencer Shaquille O’Neal. Mr. O’Neal became the first “living legend” to join ABG’s celebrity and entertainment roster and also become a shareholder in the company.

“There is significant potential for growth in the brand licensing industry as the traditional retail model is disrupted and consumers increasingly interact directly with brands,” said Andrew Crawford, Global Head of Retail & Consumer at General Atlantic. “We believe ABG is well positioned to expand and add to its impressive portfolio of brands as Jamie and his team have not only an exciting vision for the future of the company, but also best-in-class execution. We look forward to partnering with ABG as it continues to grow internationally through new brand partnerships and acquisitions.”

In its next phase of growth, ABG will accelerate its efforts to add to its portfolio of brands, expand into new categories, innovate across digital platforms, and broaden its global footprint with a key focus on the Chinese market.
Drawing from 37 years of experience investing in over 250 global growth companies, General Atlantic partners with entrepreneurs and management teams who are building leading, high-growth businesses. The firm has $21 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2017. General Atlantic focuses on investments across five sectors, including Internet & Technology, Financial Services, Business Services, Retail & Consumer, and Healthcare, with support from the firm’s global team of experts. General Atlantic has deep expertise in the Retail & Consumer sector and is currently invested in leading global retailers including Grupo Axo, House of Anita Dongre, Tory Burch, and Zimmermann.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as the financial advisor to ABG. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal advisor to General Atlantic.

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, which owns a global portfolio of lifestyle, sports, and celebrity and entertainment brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG manages, elevates, and builds the long-term value of more than 29 consumer brands by partnering with best-in-class manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. 

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