ASB MAGAZINE: BlackRock, Inc. announced that it has made a strategic investment in Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of a portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands including Volcom and AirWalk. Blackrock LTPC will become the largest investor in ABG and will work closely alongside its management, led by founder, Chairman and CEO James Salter and President and CMO Nick Woodhouse. BlackrockLTPC joins existing ABG investors including founding investor Leonard Green & Partners, General Atlantic, Lion Capital, Simon Property Group, Brookfield Properties’ retail group and Shaquille O’Neal.
In April, Authentic Brands Group (ABG) announced the purchase of the intellectual property of Volcom from Kering S.A. As part of that deal ABG took a minority stake in Liberated Brands, the newly-formed operating company for Volcom. Todd Hymel and Volcom’s current management team took a majority stake in Liberated Brands and maintain the Volcom operations based in the U.S., France, Australia and Japan.
ABG has experienced significant growth since it was founded in 2010 and is now a world-leading brand development, marketing and entertainment company. The Company’s portfolio of over 50 brands generates close to USD $10 billion in annual worldwide revenue in more than 70 countries. ABG’s portfolio spans the luxury, specialty and mid-tier retail channels in both e-commerce and brick and mortar, and is diversified across the lifestyle, sports, celebrity, entertainment and media sectors. ABG’s recent acquisition of Sports Illustrated, one of the most respected names in sports media, highlights the Company’s ability to expand a cultural centerpiece across digital, TV and social platforms and represents their increasing desire to converge content and commerce.
“The strategic investment by (Blackrock) LTPC is a testament to the success we have had building a leading platform for the ownership and development of brand and media content,” said Jamie Salter, Chairman and CEO at ABG. “We believe BlackRock’s scale, global footprint and digital capabilities will enable us to build out our organization and continue our domestic and international growth trajectory. This investment marks an important and exciting next phase of expansion for ABG.”
“ABG is an innovator in the licensing and branding industry. We have built a close relationship with Jamie and Nick over the past ten years as they’ve established this company as a leader in the licensing industry by successfully capitalizing on trends and continuing to innovate in the evolving consumer space. They have built a best-in-class business model and grown it with flawless execution,” said Colm Lanigan, Managing Director in (Blackrock) Long Term Private Capital team. “We believe there is substantial growth still ahead for ABG and look forward to partnering with Jamie and Nick to build a global platform that brings together the worlds of fashion, health and wellness, sports, culture and entertainment.”
“We are delighted to have ABG as (Blackrock) LTPC’s first investment,” added André Bourbonnais, Global Head of LTPC. “ABG represents exactly the type of high-quality business run by a proven management team that we target with our investment strategy. ABG will have the full support of the LTPC team, our operating partners and the BlackRock platform. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship.”
BofA Merrill Lynch acted as the exclusive financial advisor to LTPC.
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About BlackRock LTPC
BlackRock Long Term Private Capital is an innovative private equity strategy focused on partnerships with best-in-class businesses, prudent capital structures to preserve optionality to drive growth and flexible investment durations that enable compounded capital appreciation. LTPC’s team of 19 professionals is based in New York and London and invests globally with a focus on North America and Western Europe. LTPC is backed by BlackRock, Inc., the world’s leading investment firm, which manages more than $6.84 trillion on behalf of investors worldwide, including over $170 billion across alternative asset classes. Further information is available at www.blackrock.com.
BlackRock’s purpose is to help more and more people experience financial well-being. As a fiduciary to investors and a leading provider of financial technology, our clients turn to us for the solutions they need when planning for their most important goals. As of June 30, 2019, the firm managed approximately $6.84 trillion in assets on behalf of investors worldwide. For additional information on BlackRock, please visit www.blackrock.com/corporate
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 4,930 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 $9.3 billion in annual retail sales and includes Marilyn Monroe®, Mini Marilyn®, 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®, 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®.
For more information, visit authenticbrandsgroup.com.