Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc. has completed the previously announced sale of its assets and operations to Golden Gate Capital for $286 million in cash.
Eddie Bauer in a statement said it will have the benefit of a much stronger balance sheet, little or no long-term debt and a substantially lower cost structure. Golden Gate Capital has indicated its support for management and their strategy of refocusing the brand on its rich outdoor heritage. Eddie Bauer plans to maintain the substantial majority of its stores and employees. Under Golden Gate's ownership, Eddie Bauer will benefit from having a well-capitalized partner with extensive expertise in multi-channel specialty retail.
Neil Fiske, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eddie Bauer, said, “We are delighted to have Golden Gate Capital as our partner in building Eddie Bauer as a great American brand. Golden Gate has a proven track record and knows our industry well. We will benefit immensely from the value and capability they will bring to Eddie Bauer. With key new product launches slated for Fall and Holiday, a healthy balance sheet and a lower cost structure, we will be well positioned to grow Eddie Bauer. This is an excellent result for our people, our customers, our business partners and the communities we serve. We look forward to an exciting new chapter in the Eddie Bauer story.”
Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Golden Gate Capital, commented, “We are very pleased to acquire the Eddie Bauer operations and to partner with the existing management team in continuing to restore and rebuild this iconic brand. Eddie Bauer has extraordinary assets in the form of its management team, its brand and its nearly century old relationship with consumers in North America and abroad. The Eddie Bauer name stands for quality, value and the spirit of the American outdoors. We are committed to supporting the Eddie Bauer management team's relentless pursuit of those attributes on behalf of its millions of loyal customers.”
Kaluzny added, “The acquisition of Eddie Bauer is an important milestone in the development of Golden Gate Capital's consumer-oriented investments. Since 2003, we have completed 20 acquisitions of multi-channel retail and consumer products companies. In the apparel market, Eddie Bauer joins Express, J. Jill and Orchard Brands, which together give us terrific scale and a rich understanding of vertically integrated multi-channel retailing. Together these companies have sales of $4 billion, 1,250 stores representing nearly 10 million square feet of retail space and rapidly growing e-commerce and direct sales operations in excess of $1.5 billion. While each of our portfolio companies operates independently, we believe our scale and partnership with our management teams will power each of the individual companies and the portfolio to greater and greater success.”