Brooks Brothers has entered into a purchase deal with Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group.
In a filing with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, the bankrupt chain announced that SPARC Group LLC — a venture created by the brand management firm and mall giant — has 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.
The deal is subject to court approval and any higher or better offers as part of the retailer’s ongoing auction process. A hearing for bidding procedures will take place on Aug. 3, and the company has requested that the deadline for competing offers be set for Aug. 5. The final sale of its assets is set for Aug. 11.
Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group 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 two weeks ago amid the coronavirus pandemic and a shift to casual office attire.
According to the company spokesperson, 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.
Founded in 1818 as a family business and owned by Italian billionaire Claudio Del Vecchio, the preppy retailer is recognized for its striped button-down dress shirts, tailored chinos and penny loafers for men. It also sells apparel and footwear for women and children, as well as home essentials like bedding, towels and china sets.