Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and Sparc Group have inked a deal to acquire outdoor outfitter Eddie Bauer from PSEB Group, an operating company owned by Golden Gate Capital.
Under the deal, the terms of which have not been disclosed, 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 US$8.6bn in systemwide retail sales annually.
ABG owns a portfolio of brands that span the entertainment, media, fashion, active, beauty, home, and hospitality sectors. Eddie Bauer’s product offerings, meanwhile, include performance outerwear, apparel, swimwear, footwear, accessories, and outdoor lifestyle gear.
“The global outdoor market opportunity has grown exponentially over the last year and we are ready to hit the ground running and guide this brand into new frontiers in partnership with Sparc, Damien, and the rest of the Eddie Bauer team,” says Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of ABG.
Sparc’s operating platform currently includes Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand, Nautica, Aéropostale, and Forever 21, which – including Eddie Bauer – collectively generate nearly US$8.6bn in system-wide retail sales annually.
After the acquisition is complete, Eddie Bauer will become part of the Sparc organisation. 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 US and Canada.
Marc Miller, CEO of Sparc, adds: “The addition of Eddie Bauer introduces a new and highly-differentiated expertise to the Sparc organisation. The brand pushes the boundaries of technical innovation and performance with award-winning outdoor product offerings, bringing an entirely new component to our fashion and lifestyle brand portfolio.”
ABG will leverage the brand’s technical performance attributes to extend into new outdoor categories and distribution. International growth is an important part of the brand strategy, with territory expansion opportunities in LATAM, Europe, and APAC. Near-term launches in China and Korea will drive the initial phase of that growth. Eddie Bauer also has a proven history in non-traditional categories and ABG will continue to expand the brand into other product lines suited for all of life’s outdoor adventures.
ABG and Sparc also plan to grow the brand’s following online and launch collaborations in line with its “energetic” DNA, while continuing its commitment to purpose-driven initiatives such as its One Outside programme, 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 8m trees across the US and Canada.