Authentic Brands Group, the company that bought Barneys New York, Judith Leiber, and, more recently, Forever 21 and Eddie Bauer, is plotting a public offering later this year, according to several news sources, including Bloomberg.
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) was valued at more than $4 billion in an $875 million investment by private equity venture BlackRock Inc. in 2019. And its value has likely grown since then.
The company teamed up with Simon Property Group—one of the biggest American mall owners—and General Growth Properties (GGP) in 2016 to buy Aéropostale. It repeated this move last year, partnering with Simon and Brookfield Property Partners (which had bought GGP) to acquire and shore up Forever 21.
Jamie Salter founded ABG in 2010 as a company that bought up the licensed rights—and sometimes the estates—of celebrity brands (it owns celeb brands Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Marilyn Monroe, along with Sports Illustrated).
The company created a joint venture with Simon, called Sparc Group, which operates Brooks Brothers, Nautica, Aéropostale, Forever 21, and Lucky Brand, and bought Eddie Bauer from private equity firm Golden Gate Capital in May. ABG bought Barneys New York in a much-watched 2019 sale, with B. Riley Financial.
ABG is backed by investors including BlackRock, General Atlantic, and Leonard Green & Partners. Bloomberg’s unnamed company source says it could seek a valuation of around $10 billion should it launch an IPO.
Photo: A window display for Barneys New York at Saks Fifth Avenue, a concept owned and operated by Authentic Brands Group (courtesy of Authentic Brands Group)
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