In the wake of Sequential Brands Group, Inc. filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the future of the brands in its portfolio are in flux. But one popular brand already has an interested buyer.
In September, a representative for the Jessica Simpson Lifestyle Brand said that Jessica Simpson and her mother Tina Simpson were “in discussions” to buy back the remaining 62.5% of the brand. Sequential is currently looking to sell all or most of its assets and is seeking approval for an auction and bidding process that will enable interested buyers to bid on its assets.
In 2015, Sequential acquired a majority stake in Jessica Simpson brand, with the Camuto Group continuing to produce the collection’s footwear. Jessica and Tina currently own 37.5% percent of the brand.
“It means the absolute world to me to be able to take over complete ownership of my brand,” Jessica told FN in an exclusive interview earlier this month. “After 16 years in business I feel ready to meet this next exciting phase with open arms. I know the sky is the limit when my mom, our incredible team and I lock into our customers completely.”
Tina said that getting full ownership of the brand has been the main goal for some time.
“For all of our hard-working, talented, amazing licensing partners, to know Jessica is at the helm gives them strength and belief in the future. And for Jessica to regain control of her namesake brand, it allows her and I, alongside our amazing team, licensing and retail partners to build the legacy brand to carry on to her children and family,” she explained.
The Simpson brand has been a bright spot among continuous losses at Sequential, which also owns Joe’s Jeans, And1, Avia and more brands. The label is also a key pillar of the Camuto Group’s revitalization plan, which saw a trimming of its brand roster to focus on three key brands within the portfolio: Vince Camuto, Lucky and Jessica Simpson.
In Q2, sales of Jessica Simpson were up 92% compared to 2020 and up 9% compared to 2019.
“Jessica, Tina and their tight-knit team of women are committed to continuing to provide their wide variety of consumers with the quality product and reasonable price point they have to come to expect,” the representative told FN in a statement. “The Jessica Simpson Lifestyle Brand has been a consistently profiting and expanding entity over the last 16 years, now with 33 product categories, a social reach of 15 billion fans and booming e-commerce. The team looks forward to continued growth alongside their best in class licensing and retail partners.”
According to financial documents, Sequential had an outstanding net debt of $452.3 million as of December 31, 2020. To pay back lenders, the company sold some of its brands this year. Earlier this this month, Sequential sold the Ellen Tracy and Caribbean Joe Island Supply Co. brands to the GMA Group for a total of $20 million. It also sold its Heeling Sports brand BBC International for $11 million in April.
Footwear News has reached out to Sequential for a comment.
Sources previously told WWD in May that Simpson and her mother were working with William Susman’s Threadstone to raise money to buy back the brand.