ThreeSixty Group Inc., backed by AEA Investors LP has bought Sharper Image from Iconix Brand Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ICON) for $100 million. ThreeSixty is the target’s largest licensee and has worked with the brand since 2008. AEA made a majority investment in the buyer in 2015.
ThreeSixty, based in Irvine, California, produces and distributes consumer products to more than 70,000 retail stores. Some of its owned and licensed brands include: FAO Schwarz, Blue Hat Toy, Smithsonian and Animal Planet. Under the Sharper Image license, ThreeSixty makes drones, electronics and home décor. ThreeSixty Bought FAO Schwarz in 2016.
AEA is a New York-based middle-market private investment firm with offices in Stamford, Connecticut, London, Shanghai and Munich. The firm focuses on private equity and debt investments in core sectors such as specialty chemicals, consumer goods, retail services, and industrial products. AEA manages approximately $10 billion of invested and committed capital including buyouts, mezzanine and senior debt investments. The firm is buying glass bottle packager TricorBraun from CHS Capital.
“Sharper Image did not fit into our go-forward strategy,” says Iconix CEO John Haugh. “We determined that we could better leverage our resources and generate greater returns by focusing on other areas of the business.” Iconix, headquarted in New York, is going to use the proceeds from the sale to pay down debt. Iconix licenses a number of consumer brands such as Ed Hardy, Joe Boxer, Starter and Umbro.
Several consumer companies have been realigning their portfolios through M&A to focus on core brands. Blue Road Capital has agreed to buy the Diamond of California brand of nuts used in cooking from Snyder’s-Lance Inc. (Nasdaq: LNCE); ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) completed the sale the JM Swank food ingredient distribution business to Platinum Equity; Newell Brands Inc. (NYSE: NWL) is selling Irwin Tools to Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (NYSE: SWK), as part of its process to sell at least 10 percent of the company’s portfolio; and Prestige Brands Holdings Inc. (NYSE: PBH) has agreed to sell the Fiber Choice, New Skin and PediaCare brands to Moberg Pharma AB for $40 million in cash.