Authentic Brands Reportedly Preparing IPO

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The clothing conglomerate Authentic Brands Group is preparing an initial public offering (IPO) that could arrive as soon as this summer, CNBC reported 0n Thursday (May 27).

Authentic, whose companies include Juicy Couture, Aeropostale and Brooks Brothers, is targeting a valuation of $10 billion in the IPO, unnamed sources told the news outlet. That number would put the company’s market value higher than brands like Ralph Lauren, Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods, although the figure could change before the deal is finalized. When BlackRock invested in Authentic Brands two years ago, the company was valued at $4 billion.

The source told CNBC that the public offering registration statement could be filed in early July, with shares trading by the end of that month. Authentic Brands declined to comment.

The company’s recent strategy has seen it working with two of the nation’s biggest mall owners, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners. Together, the three companies have purchased apparel companies Aeropostale and Forever 21. Authentic and Simon also run a joint venture called SPARC Group, which operates Brooks Brothers, Nautica, Aeropostale, Forever 21 and Lucky Brand, and will soon be acquiring Eddie Bauer.

SPARC and Authentic Brands also recently announced a partnership with the buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Klarna to offer shoppers the chance to pay for clothes in four interest-free installments.

The news comes at a time when apparel stores are seeing an increase in consumers as people begin to go out more often. As PYMNTS reported earlier this month, foot traffic in clothing stores has essentially returned to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Visits to stores were down 3.4 percent in the week beginning April 5 compared to the same week in 2019. At the same time, shippers are making more weekend trips and visiting a larger number of stores when they venture out.

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