BlackRock-backed ABG to acquire Barneys New York

Authentic Brands Group, a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, is buying luxury retail brand Barneys New York. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal is expected to close by November 1, 2019. As previously reported by PE HUB, Barneys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past summer. ABG is backed by BlackRock.


NEW YORK, NY – October 24, 2019 – Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a global brand owner, marketing, and entertainment company, today announced that it has emerged as the successful bidder to purchase the intellectual property of Barneys New York (Barneys). Through this acquisition, ABG will enhance its luxury footprint and further establish its position as a leader in contemporary fashion.

“We are thrilled that our offer for Barneys has been accepted,” said Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Authentic Brands Group. “Barneys is one of the most recognizable and iconic names in luxury lifestyle, and we see an incredible opportunity to extend the brand’s equity in current and new markets around the world. We are also excited to join forces with Saks Fifth Avenue, the preeminent luxury retailer that continues to bring innovation and fashion authority to the industry.”

Barneys is renowned for its discerning edit from the world’s top designers, paired with a unique shopping experience. Its signature sense of wit and style has translated into a global brand that is sought-after by a modern generation of luxury shoppers and trendsetters. Barneys’ distinctive collaborations have a proven track record of driving press, digital and social impact, and millennial appeal.

ABG will leverage its international scale, marketing expertise, and network of best-in-class partners to grow Barneys’ presence as a global luxury retailer and lifestyle brand. Its initial focus will be on high fashion collaborations, namesake products, lively dining, and premium shopping experiences. ABG’s marketing division will drive growth for Barneys while maintaining its elevated aesthetic through innovative creative, original content, and engaging campaigns. The Barneys brand narrative will be powered by Winston, ABG’s proprietary network of creators, curators, and connectors, who have a combined reach of more than 150 million followers on social media.

Following ABG’s purchase of the Barneys intellectual property, Saks Fifth Avenue (Saks) will become the retail partner for the brand in the U.S. and Canada. As the industry’s leading luxury retailer, Saks has stayed ahead of the fast-changing industry by becoming a lifestyle-centric destination with unparalleled depth in product, services, and experiences. With this licensing agreement, Saks will build upon Barneys’ legacy and evolve it for the future.

“As we further our mission to be the ultimate luxury retail destination for exploration and discovery of new fashion, we carefully select partners that can bring originality and excitement to the customer experience. Barneys’ iconic name brand has long captured the attention of fashion-seeking audiences,” said Marc Metrick, President of Saks Fifth Avenue. “As we explore opportunities for the brand as part of Saks Fifth Avenue, we are working to best understand what Barneys’ customers love about the retailer as we evolve it into a new interpretation that is relevant for today’s luxury consumer. We’re thrilled to partner with ABG, a leader in brand-building and marketing, in this endeavor.”

Transaction Details:
Upon the closing of the transaction, ABG will acquire Barneys New York™ and the associated intellectual property including Barneys™, FiveSeventyFive™, Connor New York™, Freds™, and Freds Foods™, The High End™, and The Drop™

ABG will selectively license the brand around the world to support the growth of the Barneys-branded merchandise program

ABG will also maintain Barneys’ current licensing agreement with Seven & i Holdings, which operates 12 Barneys retail stores in Japan. The stores will remain open.

Building off of the success of the Barneys Japan business, ABG will grow the brand’s presence in key international territories, particularly in Asia
ABG will assume the brand marketing, business development, and brand management functions for Barneys and the intellectual property

The sale is subject to final approval by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York at a hearing on October 31, 2019, and the customary closing conditions set forth in the purchase agreement. It is expected that the transaction will close by November 1, 2019.

About Authentic Brands Group
Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is a brand development, marketing, and entertainment company, which owns a portfolio of global media, entertainment, and lifestyle brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG elevates and builds the long-term value of more than 50 consumer brands and properties by partnering with best-in-class manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Its brands have a global retail footprint in more than 100,000 points of sale across the luxury, specialty, department store, mid-tier, mass, and e-commerce channels and more than 4,940 freestanding stores and shop-in-shops around the world.

ABG is committed to transforming brands by delivering compelling product, content, business, and immersive experiences. It creates and activates original marketing strategies to drive the success of its brands across all consumer touchpoints, platforms, and emerging media. ABG’s portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands generates $9.8 billion in annual retail sales and includes Marilyn Monroe®, Elvis Presley®, Muhammad Ali®, Shaquille O’Neal®, Sports Illustrated®, Dr. J®, Greg Norman®, Neil Lane®, Thalia®, Michael Jackson® (managed brand), Nautica®, Aéropostale®, Juicy Couture®, Vince Camuto®, Barneys®, Herve Leger®, Judith Leiber®, Frederick’s of Hollywood®, Nine West®, Frye®, Jones New York®, Louise et Cie®, Sole Society®, Enzo Angiolini®, CC Corso Como®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Taryn Rose®, Bandolino®, Misook®, 1.STATE®, CeCe®, Chaus®, Spyder®, Tretorn®, Tapout®, Prince®, Volcom®, Airwalk®, Vision Street Wear®, Above The Rim®, Hind®, Thomasville®, Drexel®, and Henredon®.

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About Saks Fifth Avenue
As a leading shopping destination for the all-channel luxury experience, Saks Fifth Avenue is renowned for its coveted edit of American and international designer collections as well as its storied history of creating breakthrough, experiential environments. Its exemplary client service has made Saks a global authority in the category, a focus since the brand’s inception in 1924. As part of the HBC brand portfolio, Saks operates in 43 cities across the globe, its online experience―, and its mobile experience ― Saks App.