(Bloomberg)—Authentic Brands Group LLC and the largest U.S. mall operator agreed to buy outdoor clothing and gear merchant Eddie Bauer, adding another well-known brand to a portfolio of retail names.
Authentic and SPARC Group LLC are acquiring Eddie Bauer, including its 300 stores and ecommerce business, from a unit of Golden Gate Capital, according to a Friday statement. SPARC is a joint venture between Authentic and Simon Property Group. Terms weren’t disclosed.
The purchase is the latest in a series of retail deals for Simon and Authentic, which once restricted itself to buying just brands rather than brick-and-mortar presence. They teamed up last year to purchase Brooks Brothers Group (No. 206 in the 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000), Lucky Brand LLC (No. 659) and Forever 21 (No. 131) out of bankruptcy and preserve store locations. Another partner in the Forever 21 acquisition, Brookfield Property Partners, converted its stake to equity in Authentic earlier this year. Simon Property Group and Brookfield also acquired another apparel merchant, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (No. 37), in December 2020.
Private-equity firm Golden Gate bought Eddie Bauer out of bankruptcy in 2009, another period that saw a rash of retailers seeking court protection. Sales of outdoor gear thrived during the pandemic as Americans sought diversion from lockdowns and worries over the disease.
The new owners plan to keep Eddie Bauer headquartered in the Seattle area and under the leadership of current President Damien Huang. The deal is expected to close by June 1.Favorite