ABG Inks Deal to Co-Own and Manage David Beckham’s Brand

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is making another big investment.

The global brand and marketing powerhouse said on Thursday that it has entered into a deal to co-own and manage David Beckham’s global brand. The terms of the deal, which makes Beckham a shareholder of ABG, were not disclosed.

Though Beckham retired from soccer in 2013, the former athlete has worked on projects and deals with brands such as Adidas, Diageo, H&M, L’Oreal, Tudor and Sands. His brand-management firm, DB Ventures LLC, manages his endorsement deals with Tudor watches and Haig, a whiskey brand. According to CNBC, ABG paid close to $269 million for a 55% stake DB Ventures.

Via the new deal, Beckham join’s ABG’s roster of celebrity brands, including Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal and Marilyn Monroe. ABG said it will help grow Beckham’s brand via new endorsement deals, partnerships and new products.

“We are thrilled to welcome David Beckham to ABG’s esteemed entertainment division and even further honored to call him an ABG shareholder. David is a superstar talent with an incredible global brand reach and a highly influential presence,” said ABG CEO, chairman and founder Jamie Salter. “David and his team have built an enterprise that spans sports, entertainment, lifestyle and luxury, and we see significant opportunities to scale his brand and expand it into new verticals.”

ABG is the company behind dozens of brand and retailer acquisitions, including Forever 21, Barneys New York and J.C. Penney and most recently, the Reebok brand in a deal set to close this year. The company, led by Salter and president and CMO Nick Woodhouse, was awarded Company of the Year in Footwear News’ Annual Achievement Awards in New York in November.

ABG filed for an IPO in July but delayed plans to go public after it received a pair of new investments from CVC Capital Partners (CVC) and HPS Investment Partners (HPS) in November.

As part of the new deal, ABG will open a European headquarters in London, which will house the David Beckham team.

“ABG takes an innovative approach to global brand development, and I’m delighted to be joining them,” said David Beckham. “Our shared vision makes ABG the ideal strategic partner to help unlock the full potential of my brand and business. I’m incredibly grateful for the support I have received in my business career and proud of what our team has achieved. I’m excited for the next chapter.”

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