Marquee Brands Snaps Up Ben Sherman for $64 Million

Brand management firm Marquee Brands LLC, announced today, that it has acquired the Ben Sherman brand and related intellectual property assets from Oxford Industries for 40.8 GBP or $63.6 million.

The London-based Ben Sherman brand launched in 1963, in Brighton, England, as a shirt company but has since expanded to offer footwear, neckties, wallets and other men’s accessories. Now, the team at Marquee says it hopes to expand the brand even further.

“Our goal at Marquee Brands is to transform Ben Sherman beyond its ionic shirt and turn it into a distinctive lifestyle brand,” Cory Baker, COO at Marquee Brands, told Footwear News. “We will reconnect with consumers by celebrating its cool, pop culture status while entering new product categories and introducing high-quality and stylish items to a broader audience.”

This is Marquee Brand’s second acquisition of the year—the growing private equity firm also nabbed Italian luxury brand Bruno Magli earlier this year.

“We are particularly excited about this transaction as Ben Sherman is consistent with our mission to acquire high quality brands with substantial global growth potential,” said Michael DeVirgilio, president of Marquee Brands, in a release. “The current management team under Oxford’s leadership has done a great job building on the core essence of the brand. We’ve received supportive messages from retailers across the globe that share our view of the growth opportunity ahead.”

Oxford has  been poised to sell off Ben Sherman since the brand was unable to post a profit in the fourth quarter.

“We truly appreciate the efforts of our Ben Sherman associates. Their dedication and enthusiasm for this iconic brand was clearly communicated to potential buyers, and was a critical component of this successful sales process,” said Thomas Chubb III, Oxford’s Chairman and CEO, in a release. “It has been a pleasure working with Marquee Brands to quickly culminate this transaction, which we believe will benefit both companies.”

In addition to the $63.6 million, Oxford said it expects to receive net cash proceeds, after transaction fees and expenses, of approximately $58 million and expects to incur a one-time, non-cash loss on sale of discontinued operations. The private equity firm said it will now focus its efforts on its other brands that include Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer.

“Ben Sherman remains a uniquely classic British brand with a loyal following across five continents and a smartness that’s ageless. Its heritage, style and authenticity fits perfectly within Marquee’s growing portfolio,” said Baker. “Our plans to market and promote the brand across various lifestyle categories are well underway with new products and expanded retail coming to market as early as first quarter, 2016.”

Marquee Brands was advised by Ropes & Gray LLP in the transaction while Oxford’s financial adviser was Financo, Ltd. and its legal adviser was Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.

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