Barneys, the luxury chain that filed for bankruptcy in August, reached an agreement to sell its assets to Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and investment bank B. Riley Financial for $271.4 million in cash.
ABG and B. Riley become the stalking horse bidder to provide a base offer to support a possible bankruptcy auction set for October 24. Any further bids must be received before a deadline on October 22, according to the filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Poughkeepsie. In the absence of further bids by the deadline, the deal with Authentic Brands and B. Riley will go forward.
ABG, based in New York, owns a portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands. They include Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, Greg Norman, Thalia Sodi, Neil Lane, Nautica, Aéropostale, Vince Camuto, Nine West, Juicy Couture, Frye, Spyder, Prince and Judith Leiber. ABG’s most recent acquisition was Sports Illustrated.
A potential deal with ABG could lead to Barneys shops to opening in Saks Fifth Avenue stores. According to previous reports, ABG plans to acquire the Barneys brand and license the name to Hudson’s Bay Co., which would create Barneys in-store shops within Saks Fifth Avenue locations. The agreement involves “substantially all” of Barneys’ assets, but it could exclude certain leases, reported WWD.
Barneys is encouraged by the agreement but is also ‘actively pursuing’ additional options, the Wall Street Journal reported. One of those options is Authentic Brands possibly keeping some Barneys stores open based on talks with landlords, the Journal reported.
A group led by fashion executive Sam Ben-Avraham has explored a bid for Barneys and was continuing to work on a potential deal that envisions keeping many of the retailer’s current stores open, according to Reuters. Ben-Avraham founded the hip New York store Atrium in the 1990s as well as the streetwear brand Kith and also operates fashion trade shows.