Authentic Brands Group Inc., which owns Juicy Couture, has struck a deal to buy Ted Baker Plc. for about £211 million ($254 million). The cut-price cash deal which could secure the future of the struggling United Kingdom fashion chain.
The United States group offered 110 pence a share for the chain, best known for its floral designs, according to a statement Tuesday. The deal represents a premium of about 18% to the retailer’s closing price on Monday.
Authentic Brands previously held discussions with Ted Baker and indicated it was willing to pay a higher price but then walked away from the deal. Private equity fund Sycamore Partners Management LP bowed out of the sale process earlier in the year after offering as much as 137.5 pence a share.
Ted Baker’s directors are unanimously recommending the deal.
Authentic Brands is the owner of licensing and marketing rights to names like David Beckham and Juicy Couture. It has been a key consolidator in the retail industry. The New York-based company agreed to buy Reebok from Adidas AG in August last year for $2.5 billion.
The acquisitive Authentic Brands said Ted Baker is “a distinctive British lifestyle brand.” It said one option it’s exploring is to merge the U.K. retailer’s operations in North America with SPARC Group LLC. SPARC is its joint venture with Simon Property Group which operates about 1,660 stores.
Ted Baker CEO Rachel Osborne has been seeking to revive the company by cutting debt and product markdowns, boosting online sales and refreshing the brand. The company has struggled to find its footing since founder Ray Kelvin departed in 2019 after being accused of inappropriate hugs and other behavior in the workplace. Kelvin has denied any wrongdoing. The shares have lost more than 90% of their value in the past four years.
Kelvin still owns more than 10% of the company. The two largest shareholders are Toscafund Asset Management, founded by veteran city investor Martin Hughes, and Schroders Plc. Toscafund first invested in Ted Baker about three years ago.
Ted Baker’s sale via U.K. arrangement requires 75% approval from shareholders. It’s expected to be completed during the fourth quarter.
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