Brooks Brothers Group Inc. could soon be sold to the venture backed by Authentic Brands Group LLC and Simon Property Group Inc.
According to multiple reports that cite people familiar with the matter, the bankrupt menswear retailer is inching closer to a sale to SPARC Group LLC after licensing company WHP Global Inc. and other rivals bowed out of the race.
The deal is still subject to court approval and any higher or better offers as part of the retailer’s ongoing auction process. The final sale of its assets is scheduled for today.
FN has reached out to Brooks Brothers, ABG and Simon, as well as WHP Global, for comment.
Just over two weeks ago, Brooks Brothers announced in a filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware that SPARC Group — created by brand management firm ABG and mall giant Simon — made a stalking-horse bid of $305 million to snap up its business operations around the world as a going concern. The group also plans to preserve at least 125 of its stores.
ABG and Simon had previously joined forces — along with mall owner General Growth Properties, now owned by Brookfield Property Partners — to save Aéropostale from liquidation in 2016. The two, plus Brookfield, also became the new owners of teen mall staple Forever 21 in February.
Brooks Brothers, which has been searching for a buyer, filed for Chapter 11 protection in early July amid the coronavirus pandemic and a shift to casual office attire.
According to the company spokesperson at the time, the purpose of the filing was to obtain additional financing as well as “facilitate a sale process in an efficient manner.” It came a month after the brand warned that it could shut down its three factories in the U.S.
The storied American clothier operates about 250 stores in North America and planned to shutter just over 50 locations as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, which forced widespread closures across the retail sector.
As international, state and local governments ease lockdown restrictions, the chain — headquartered on Madison Avenue in New York City’s Manhattan borough — has proceeded with its reopening plans. It has more than 500 stores around the world, as well as maintains wholesale partnerships with department stores including Nordstrom and Macy’s to sell its collections.