Authentic Brands Group Launches with $250 Million Commitment

Authentic Brands Group has formed with a $250 million equity funding commitment from Leonard Green & Partners, Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners (unit of Counsel Corp.) and ABG chairman and CEO James Salter. The New York-based company will “acquire, manage and build long-term value in prominent consumer brands.”


Authentic Brands Group LLC (“Authentic Brands Group” or “ABG”) announced today that it completed a $250 million equity capital raise with Green Equity Investors V, L.P., an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. (“LGP”), Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners Inc. (“Knight’s Bridge”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Counsel Corporation (“Counsel”), and ABG’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer James Salter. The equity capital will be used to fund the growth of ABG’s global brand licensing and management business as ABG looks to acquire and manage iconic consumer brands in the apparel, sporting goods, action sports, home, celebrity, entertainment and consumer electronics segments.

Prior to the establishment of ABG, James Salter and Kenneth Finkelstein, Chief Executive Officer of Knight’s Bridge, together with their partners, have developed a track record of successfully acquiring and operating a vast array of brands including Polaroid, The Sharper Image, Ellen Tracy, Tommy Armour, Linens n’ Things, The Bombay Company, Halston, Ride Snowboards and Airwalk.  Through ABG, James Salter and his team also provide management services for the Bob Marley family under its celebrity brand division. In previous ventures, together with his partners, James Salter has secured partnerships with celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker at Halston and Lady Gaga at Polaroid to fuel brand recognition.

James Salter commented, “I am very excited to embark on this new venture with my partners at LGP and Knight’s Bridge. LGP is among the world’s most experienced private equity investors in the retail and branded consumer products industries and Knight’s Bridge will provide its own exceptional investment and brand licensing expertise.  Our collective experiences will enable Authentic Brands Group to acquire and grow a global portfolio of world renowned brands.”

Jonathan Seiffer, Partner at LGP, said, “We identified the brand acquisition and licensing space as exhibiting significant potential for growth and value creation for our investors.  We believe that both James Salter and Knight’s Bridge are the right partners to assist us in the execution of this compelling strategy.”

Allan Silber, Counsel’s Chairman & CEO, commented, “Our team at Knight’s Bridge, led by Kenneth Finkelstein, has earned a strong reputation for its financial and operational expertise and, in recognition of this, has been identified by LGP and James Salter as the right partner for Authentic Brands Group.” Kenneth Finkelstein continued, “Our ability to be recognized by and invest with such world class partners is a validation of our continuing private equity strategy and represents a tremendous opportunity for our entire organization and our investors.”

About Authentic Brands Group LLC

Authentic Brands Group is an intellectual property corporation with a mandate to acquire, manage and build long-term value in prominent consumer brands. ABG operates out of New York with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles.   ABG’s mandate is to acquire a global portfolio of world renowned brands and to enhance brand equity through partnering with best-in-class brand licensees. ABG will look to actively acquire and to manage iconic consumer brands in the apparel, sporting goods, action sports, home, celebrity, entertainment and consumer electronics segments.

About Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.

Leonard Green & Partners is one of the nation’s leading private equity firms with over $9 billion in equity commitments under management.  Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. was founded in 1989 and has invested in 51 companies with an aggregate value in excess of $42 billion.  The firm’s investments are focused primarily on North American companies in a range of industries including retail, consumer products, distribution, media, business services and healthcare. Significant investments include Whole Foods Market, Neiman Marcus Group, Petco Animal Supplies, The Sports Authority, The Container Store, Tourneau, David’s Bridal, Jetro Cash and Carry and The Tire Rack.

About Counsel Corporation & Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners Inc.

Counsel Corporation (TSX: CXS) is a private equity investor and alternative asset manager that actively partners with businesses to achieve shared success and to unlock value through leveraging its relationships, access to capital and strategic market experience. Knight’s Bridge Capital Partners Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Counsel. and