Montreal-based menswear brand Samuelsohn has agreed to acquire Hickey Freeman from W Diamond Group. No financial terms were disclosed. Also, Samuelsohn, which is owned by Grano, a Canadian private equity firm that focuses on the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors, has inked a 40-year licensing agreement for Hickey Freeman with owner Authentic Brands Group. Based in Rochester, New York, Hickey Freeman is a manufacturer of suits for men.
NEW YORK, July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Samuelsohn, a premium menswear brand based in Montreal, announced today that it has agreed to acquire all of the tangible assets of US-based Hickey Freeman, including the factory, from W Diamond Group, and will enter into a 40-year license agreement for Hickey Freeman with brand owner, Authentic Brands Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
As part of the transaction, Samuelsohn CEO Stephen Granovsky, President and Chief Creative Officer Arnold Brant Silverstone and President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Abramowicz will expand their roles to include Hickey Freeman oversight and development.
“For 90 years Samuelsohn has been known and respected in the industry for producing the best quality suits in Canada. Likewise, Hickey Freeman has built a business and reputation over the last century producing the very best suits in the United States,” said Stephen Granovsky, who is also CEO of Grano Retail Holdings (“Grano”), the owner of Samuelsohn. “Owning both of these best-in-class menswear businesses will be a dream come true.”
“Hickey Freeman has great brand value and long term retail relationships, as well as an extremely productive factory and talented workforce,” adds Arnold Brant Silverstone. “We believe that, working with Authentic Brands Group, we can bring the same creativity, discipline and energy to Hickey Freeman that we have brought to Samuelsohn over the last three years.”
“We intend, first, to add to the stability, and second to drive growth,” said Lawrence Pollack, Vice Chairman of both Grano and Samuelsohn. “We estimate that Hickey Freeman can grow by as much as fifty percent in the next three to five years. The Rochester factory is a diamond in the rough.”
“We are very proud to own Hickey Freeman and we are extremely excited about the growth opportunities that the Samuelsohn/Grano team brings to the brand,” said Jamie Salter, CEO of Authentic Brands Group.
“We look forward to working with a progressive company such as Samuelsohn/Grano and we are thrilled about the prospects in the future,” added Nick Woodhouse, President of Authentic Brands Group.
“Workers United, SEIU, and its members are very pleased with this transaction. We have excellent working relationships with Samuelsohn in Montreal and with W Diamond in Chicago and the Union looks forward to a bright future of stability and expansion of jobs in Rochester,” said Noel Beasley, President of Workers United.
“I will always fight to strengthen and grow Hickey Freeman in Rochester and have been pleased to stand with the company and its workers so that this day could come,” said Senator Schumer. “This union with Samuelsohn buttons together two of the finest North American suit makers and will grow jobs and bring new work to Hickey Freeman’s Rochester workforce in a way that will stabilize and strengthen this storied Rochester institution for decades to come.”
“The entire W Diamond Team is proud to pass along the Hickey Freeman tradition of excellence to the Samuelsohn team and I personally look forward to supporting their efforts any way I can,” said Doug Williams, CEO of W Diamond Group.
The acquisition announcement comes at the beginning of the Men’s Spring 2014 Market Week in New York where Samuelsohn will be showcasing its newest collections to top retailers and media. Samuelsohn also has another cause to celebrate—2013 marks the 90th Anniversary for the brand who will celebrate the milestone anniversary at a cocktail reception on July 21 during Market Week festivities.
Headquartered in Montreal, Samuelsohn, Ltd. was founded in 1923 by Lesser Samuelsohn. Re-launched as a modern luxury brand, over the past three years, Samuelsohn is currently sold in more than 250 specialty stores throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as Harry Rosen, Nordstrom and Saks. For more information, please visit www.samuelsohn.com.
About Hickey Freeman
Two young entrepreneurs named Jacob Freeman and Jeremiah Hickey built it in the early years of the 20th century. Their plan was to bring high-quality hand-tailoring to men from coast to coast. As they envisioned it, a Hickey Freeman suit would be a testament to both the delicate artistry of hand-craftsmanship and the steady consistency of modern technology.
Their idea turned into an epic American success story. Men of style and achievement have, for generation after generation, turned to Hickey Freeman for authenticity and quality, elegance and innovation. They still do.
The Temple — a 210,000 -square-foot factory in Rochester, New York — is where it all happens. Tailors from around the world gather in Rochester’s sartorial sanctuary to set sleeves and stitch collars and roll lapels. Each tailor has a different specialty, but they all share a common goal: to create suits that represent the very pinnacle of American tailoring.
For decades, anyone who stepped into the Temple saw the phrase “Keep the Quality Up” carved into the oak entryway. “Keep the Quality Up” was the Hickey Freeman motto — and its mission statement. It still is. For more information, please visit www.hickeyfreeman.com
About Grano Retail Investments Inc.
Grano is a private investment firm that focuses on small to mid-size acquisitions in the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors. The Company’s investments are sourced from the their own funds as well as funds from their partners who include institutional sub-debt lenders, high net worth individuals and specialized private equity investors. Founded in 2007 by Stephen Granovsky and Lawrence Pollack, the leadership team, which includes Stephen, Lawrence, and Naomi Levinson, has over 100 years of combined experience in retail, consumer businesses and transaction financing. For more information, please visit www.granoretail.com.
About Authentic Brands Group
Authentic Brands Group, in partnership with Leonard Green & Partners, is an intellectual property corporation with a mandate to acquire, manage and build long-term value in prominent consumer brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG’s mission is to further enhance brand equity through partnering with best-in-class licensees and direct-to-retail partnerships in apparel, sporting goods, action sports, home, celebrity, entertainment and consumer electronics. The brands ABG owns include Marilyn Monroe®, Judith Leiber®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Taryn Rose®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Palm Beach®, Misook®, Prince®, Ektelon®, Viking®, Bobby Jones®, TapouT®, Sportcraft®.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.