Fast Retailing is to acquire a majority stake in J Brand Holdings from Star Avenue Capital and J Brand management. J Brand is a fashion brand based in Los Angeles, California.
FAST RETAILING CO., LTD. (hereinafter “FAST RETAILING”) today announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement (hereinafter the “Transaction”) to acquire majority control of J Brand Holdings, LLC (hereinafter “J Brand”) from Star Avenue Capital and J Brand management. J Brand is a leading contemporary fashion brand based in Los Angeles, California. As part of the Transaction, FAST RETAILING will acquire an 80.1% stake in J Brand, and the balance will be owned by the management of J Brand. The Transaction is expected to close by the end of December 2012, subject to customary closing and regulatory approvals.
J Brand is a leading contemporary fashion company with significant experience in women’s and men’s apparel, particularly in the denim category. Founded in 2005 by Mr. Jeff Rudes, Chief Executive Officer, the company has developed a variety of unique denim fabrications. Today, J Brand is well-recognized for its minimal yet sophisticated product design, beautiful silhouette and perfect fit. Star Avenue Capital acquired a controlling interest in the company in 2010, and J Brand has built a solid operational platform to become one of the leading brands in the category, with its products sold in over 2,000 specialty boutiques and luxury retailers in more than 20 countries worldwide. J Brand is a highly profitable company with its reported net sales of approximately $124 million (approximately 10 billion Japanese yen) for the fiscal year ended December 2011.
The purpose of the planned acquisition of J Brand is to extend the FAST RETAILING Group’s brand portfolio among the affordable luxury apparel category, and to leverage J Brand’s know-how in the area of premium denim and strengthen the group’s capability to develop denim products. At the same time, acquiring a Los Angeles-based apparel brand will enable FAST RETAILING to reinforce its presence further in the crucial U.S. market.
“Our planned acquisition will extend the FAST RETAILING Group’s brand portfolio among the affordable luxury apparel category and strengthen our group’s capability in the denim category,” said Tadashi Yanai, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of FAST RETAILING. “In addition, the acquisition will create synergies between the companies, enhancing the positions of both FAST RETAILING and J Brand as fashion leaders.”
“J Brand’s proposed partnership with FAST RETAILING has the potential to generate great expansion opportunities in all major markets around the world,” commented J Brand Chief Executive Officer Jeff Rudes. “We are very proud of the platform we have built together with Star Avenue Capital and its partners, Irving Place Capital and CAA, over the last several years, and we look forward to our next phase of growth.”
The existing J Brand management team, led by Mr. Rudes, will continue to lead and operate the company as one of FAST RETAILING’s key businesses for the future.
Funds required for the Transaction will be financed by internal FAST RETAILING Group funds and loans, if necessary. The financial impact of the Transaction to FAST RETAILING’s consolidated financials ending August 2013 will be announced immediately after confirmation of details.
About Fast Retailing
Fast Retailing Co. (FR), a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under six main brands: Helmut Lang, Comptoir des Cotonniers, g.u., Princesse tam.tam, Theory and UNIQLO. With global sales of 928 billion yen for the 2012 fiscal year ending August 31, 2012, FR is the world’s fourth largest apparel retail company and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer. With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, FR is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about UNIQLO and other FR group companies, please visit www.fastretailing.com
About J Brand
J Brand set out to create a sophisticated jean from a fashion point of view to make a woman look and feel beautiful in her jeans. Known for its remarkable fit, J Brand has achieved a winning combination of style, comfort, and sexiness. In the fall of 2008, the brand introduced its men’s line, reflecting modern classics with a masculine sensibility. Beginning with Spring 2012, J Brand introduced a Ready-to-Wear collection designed with luxurious contrasting fabrics while continuing the simplistic attention to detail and sensibility of the brand. A California-based company, J Brand is featured in specialty stores and luxury retailers in more than 20 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit www.jbrandjeans.com
About Star Avenue Capital
Star Avenue Capital is a growth equity firm focused on making equity investments in branded consumer product and retail companies. Leveraging the resources, relationships and expertise of its joint venture partners, Irving Place Captial and Creative Artists Agency, Star Avenue Capital was created to be a differentiated private equity group, providing growth captial and strategic counsel to growth companies in the branded consumer products and branded retail industries. To learn more, please visit www.staravenuecapital.com.