Sparc Group Adds to Brand Portfolio With Eddie Bauer Acquisition
Sparc Group, the entity formed by mall REIT Simon Property Group and brand management firm Authentic Brands Group (ABG), will acquire Eddie Bauer from PSEB Group, an operating company owned by Golden Gate Capital, for an undisclosed amount. The announcement comes 12 years after Golden Gate Capital acquired the outdoor lifestyle gear maker out of bankruptcy. The acquisition, announced on Friday, is expected to close by June 1. After the acquisition is complete, 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. Following the close of the transaction, Sparc’s operating platform will include Eddie Bauer, Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand, Nautica, Aéropostale, and Forever 21, which collectively generate nearly $8.6 billion in systemwide retail sales annually. Eddie Bauer 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, which are principally located in the U.S. and Canada.
Total Retail's Take: Eddie Bauer and ABG will both benefit from this deal. Eddie Bauer will be given a lifeline, while ABG and Sparc will engage the next generation of Eddie Bauer consumers — while retaining its legacy audience. ABG and SPARC will also continue Eddie Bauer’s commitment to purpose-driven initiatives such as its One Outside program, which makes the outdoors more accessible and inclusive for underrepresented communities, and its partnership with American Forests, a 25-year long initiative that has planted over 8 million trees across the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, ABG will leverage Eddie Bauer's technical performance attributes to extend into new outdoor categories and distribution. Eddie Bauer also has a proven history in nontraditional categories, and ABG will continue to expand the brand into other product lines suited for all of life’s outdoor adventures.