Authentic Brands Group, a global brand owner, lifestyle, entertainment and marketing platform, recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of the British lifestyle brand, Ted Baker.
The brand will be converted from a vertical model to a fully licensed model, following the protocol of ABG. What does that entail?
“It’s about finding operating partners in key regions, or licensees who would take over that business and then license it from ABG,” said Haley Steinberg, SVP of Communications. “Our model is, we’re a brand owner, we do all of our marketing and social media and business development. What we don’t do is manufacture product and run stores.”
ABG believes that Ted Baker will do well in several different regions. For example, “the U.K., is going to be a big one,” Steinberg said. “I believe Ted Baker has a really good presence in the Middle East and the U.S. as well.”
Asked whether Ted Baker’s stores will continue to operate, Steinberg said, “You see the U.K. condition now and the recession they’re headed into. There are so many factors, and that’s why we’re pausing in Q1. There’s still a lot of digging in to do. It was first process, my 30th acquisition. I’ve never participated in a sale like this where you have a public company and it’s delisted from the London Stock Exchange. There were a lot of different codes and protocols that our legal team had to go through, so we’re going to be digging in over the next couple of months and see what the business needs.
“The cool part of this for us too, is this really helps us broaden our presence in EMEA and APAC,” Steinberg said. “A lot of our brands have presence in those regions already. Through great operating partners, our marketing, and we’ve obviously established a presence there earlier this year when we partnered with David Beckham and bought 55% of his brand. David Beckham’s office became the Authentic Brands’ U.K. office and all the employees of that office became employees of Authentic Brands so they work across our entertainment portfolio. It helps expand our company as well.”
“We’re excited to welcome Ted Baker to the Authentic family,” said Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ABG. “This uniquely British brand enhances our fashion portfolio and further reinforces ABG’s brand presence in the U.K., Europe and the Middle East. The purchase of Ted Baker is in line with our strategic focus on growing and diversifying the portfolio through the acquisitions of brands that originate from outside of the U.S.”
ABG would like to split its business between the U.S. and other countries. “I know that’s a big goal for us, getting a better balance between our domestic and international businesses. It’s not 50-50, but that’s really where we want to be,” Steinberg said.
Founded over three decades ago, Ted Baker focuses on quality design details and modern style. It’s recognized as one of the fastest-growing fashion lifestyle brands in the U.K. The brand offers a wide range of contemporary designer staples and reinvented classics for men and women across a variety of categories and is available in 370 freestanding stores, shop-in-shops and concessions worldwide.
Asked how another ABG acquisition is faring, Steinberg said, “We launched Barneys beauty products during fashion week. We launched with Gloent, a Korean beauty company. It was established for Barneys Beauty. They opened stores in Korea, so they have Barneys Beauty stores there and the rollout is in Korea, Japan and the U.S.
“In addition, we’re working on a slew of collaborations next year, in addition to our ongoing work with Saks,” Steinberg added, referring to Barneys shop-in-shops at Saks Fifth Avenue. “Barneys’ 100th anniversary is in 2023. We have some stuff to put together for the brand. We’re making sure we’re celebrating and paying homage to the brand.”