After months of searching for a buyer, Ted Baker has found its suitor in Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which has agreed to purchase the U.K. fashion retailer in a deal valuing the company at $253 million.
According to an announcement posted on the ABG website Tuesday (Aug. 16), the clothing conglomerate — which owns brands such as Reebok, Nautica and Eddie Bauer — says it thinks Ted Baker would function better under private ownership.
“ABG believes Ted Baker is a distinctive British lifestyle brand with a rich, authentic heritage and strong worldwide customer recognition,” the firm said in the announcement. “As a leading global brand management company, ABG believes it will be a good custodian of the Ted Baker brand and is well positioned to accelerate its growth and enhance its value.”
In addition, ABG says it sees “significant growth opportunities” for Ted Baker in North America, and is considering combining Ted Baker’s operations in that part of the world with that of SPARC Group. SPARC is the retail, eCommerce and wholesaling joint venture ABG co-owns with shopping mall giant Simon Property Group.
Helena Feltham, interim chair of Ted Baker, said the company’s board believes the offer “represents a fair value for shareholders and balances the company’s growth prospects with the risks of the uncertain economic environment in which the business is operating.”
Ted Baker has nearly 400 locations across the U.K., Europe and North America. ABG had been named as one of several potential buyers for the company.
In March, Ted Baker rejected a pair of bids from private equity firm Sycamore Partner that valued the company at nearly $320 million. In April, the retailer said it was open to other offers.
More in retail: Authentic Brands to Buy Majority Stake in DB Ventures
In January, ABG announced it was purchasing a majority stake in another British company, DB Ventures, which is the brand management firm owned by former soccer star David Beckham. The $240 million deal gave ABG a 55% stake in DB.
DB Ventures is responsible for the rights of a number of high-profile public figures, including Elvis Presley and Shaquille O’Neal, who is also a major investor in Authentic Brands.
ABG purchased Reebok in 2021 for $2.5 billion. It has also worked with mall landlords to buy retailers such as Aeropostale and Brooks Brothers, which had been headed to bankruptcy.
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