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Forever 21 Owner Authentic Brands Plans IPO This Year

(Bloomberg) — Authentic Brands Group LLC, the owner of brands such as Brooks Brothers, Juicy Couture and Forever 21, is exploring going public as soon as this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The New York-based company has held discussions with potential advisers about an initial public offering, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.The company could seek a valuation of about $10 billion when it goes public, the people said. Its plans aren’t final and the size and valuation of the deal could still change, the people said.A representative for Authentic Brands declined to comment.Founded and run by Jamie Salter, who hails from Canada, Authentic Brands snapped up a portfolio of more than 30 brands over the years including bankrupt Barneys New York. The company was valued at more than $4 billion in an $875 million investment by BlackRock Inc.’s private equity vehicle in 2019.Brand EmpireIn 2016, Salter teamed up with the two largest U.S. mall landlords to buy bankrupt fashion retailer Aeropostale. That led to other retail transactions, including the purchase of bankrupt Forever 21 last year.Brookfield Property Partners recently swapped its stake in Forever 21 for equity in Authentic Brands, Bloomberg News reported this month. Authentic Brands now owns the retailer with Simon Property Group.Its latest deal was the acquisition this month of outerwear-maker Eddie Bauer from private equity firm Golden Gate Capital. It made the purchase along with SPARC LLC, its joint venture with Simon, the largest U.S. mall operator.Authentic Brands is backed by investors including BlackRock Inc., General Atlantic and Leonard Green & Partners. Authentic Brands also owns Nautica, Jones New York and Lucky Brand. Representatives for General Atlantic and Leonard Green declined to comment.In an interview in August, Salter, who once shunned operating retailers, said he’s committed to maintaining a brick-and-mortar presence.“If we have a store base in the U.S.,” Salter said, “it helps us build out the brand for multiple categories and more stores globally, plus having a store base also fuels your e-commerce strategy.”More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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