The company that has been instrumental in rescuing numerous retailers out of bankruptcy is considering going public.
According to Bloomberg, brand management firm Authentic Brands is considering an initial public offering, perhaps as soon as this year.
Authentic Brands, often in partnership with shopping mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners, has swooped in during bankruptcy proceedings to acquire troubled retailers including Aeropostale, Brooks Brothers, and Forever 21. Authentic Brands then becomes responsible for managing the business.
Prior to teaming up with Simon to buy Aeropostale in 2016, Authentic only trolled the waters of the bankruptcy courts to acquire the intellectual property of bankrupt businesses. In its portfolio of brands are names such as Jones New York, Nautica, Nine West, and Sports Illustrated.
The pandemic, though, brought a raft of opportunity, and in connection with both Simon and Brookfield, Authentic began acquiring retailers that were still operational. It recently acquired with Simon the outdoor brand Eddie Bauer from Golden Gate Capital, though there is no indication it was troubled.
The partnership has done well. In its recent quarterly earnings report, Simon said the portfolio of onece-distressed retailers was performing above its sales and gross margin plan.
Brookfield sold its stake in Forever 21 to Authentic in exchange for equity. Bloomberg reports Authentic Brands could seek a valuation of as much as $10 billion.