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Ted Baker agreed an acquisition in August by a newly-formed entity of Authentic Brands Group (ABG) for GBP211m (US$253.5m) in a move analysts said could give the UK fashion brand the stability it needs to turn its fortunes around.

Jamie Salter, ABG founder, chairman and CEO, said of the completion: “We are excited to welcome Ted Baker to the Authentic family. This uniquely British brand enhances our fashion portfolio and further reinforces ABG’s brand presence in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. The purchase of Ted Baker is in line with our strategic focus on growing and diversifying the portfolio through the acquisitions of brands that originate from outside of the US.”

Ted Baker was founded more than three decades ago and its offerings include apparel, accessories, footwear, fragrance and home. With distribution across five continents, Ted Baker has 370 stores and concessions in the UK, Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

ABG, which acquired assets including Reebok and David Beckham earlier this year, says it will leverage its global network of category experts and established operating partners to convert the Ted Baker business into a licensed business model. ABG is in discussions with leading operators in key regions to manage the manufacturing, physical retail, e-commerce and wholesale operations of the Ted Baker business. In keeping with its brand-building approach, ABG will work closely with the Ted Baker team on the management, marketing and evolution of one of Britain’s beloved fashion gems.

For over a decade, ABG has driven significant company and portfolio growth by implementing consistent strategies that connect strong brands with best-in-class licensees and a network of partners. In February, the company opened its London-based European headquarters to establish a dedicated focus on building brand value across EMEA. With the acquisitions of Reebok and the David Beckham brand made earlier this year, and now Ted Baker, ABG’s portfolio of more than 50 lifestyle, entertainment and media brands has reached US$24bn in annual system-wide retail sales with distribution in more than 150 countries.

Emily Salter, senior apparel analyst at GlobalData believes this will give Ted Baker the stability it needs to turn its fortunes around as it has fallen out of favour among shoppers and faces more difficulties as consumers cut back on spend on clothing and footwear amid the cost of living crisis.  

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She says: “Even before the pandemic, Ted Baker was suffering as its distinctive brand handwriting limits its audience, and Covid only compounded its troubles. It fell victim to the lack of demand for occasionwear and formalwear in 2020 and 2021, and although occasionwear is popular again this summer as consumers flock to weddings and other long-postponed events, Ted Baker has not adapted to the long-term casualisation trend. This is vital for Authentic Brands Group to tackle to ensure that it regains relevance among shoppers.”