General Atlantic backs ABG, owner of Juicy Couture and Aéropostale

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Private equity firm General Atlantic has backed Authentic Brand Group, the owner of multiple clothing brands including Aéropostale and Juicy Couture.

New York-based ABG owns a portfolio of more than 29 lifestyle, sports, celebrity and entertainment clothing brands. The target distributes its consumer brands to the department store, luxury, specialty, shop-in-shops and ecommerce markets. The capital is intended to help ABG increase the number of clothing brands it owns, expand across digital mediums and broaden its global footprint with a particular focus on China. ABG’s portfolio of brands includes: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, Neil Lane, Michael Jackson, Aéropostale, Juicy Couture, Jones New York, Frye, Spyder, Tretorn, Prince, Vision Street Wear and Hind.

“There is significant potential for growth in the brand licensing industry as the traditional retail model is disrupted and consumers increasingly interact directly with brands,” states Andrew Crawford, General Atlantic's global head of retail and consumer. “We look forward to partnering with ABG as it continues to grow internationally through new brand partnerships and acquisitions.” Financial terms of the capital investment were not disclosed.

General Atlantic is a middle-market private equity firm based out of New York. The firm, managing more than $21 billion in assets, seeks to make investments across the financial services, business services, Internet and technology, retail and consumer, and healthcare sectors. General Atlantic is currently investing in a number of retail companies, including: Grupo Axo, House of Anita Dongre, Tory Burch, and Zimmermann.

Related deals involving clothes and shoes include: Steve Madden Ltd’s (Nasdaq: SHOO) completed purchase or private label footwear manufacturer Schwartz & Benjamin Inc.; women’s apparel retailer Bebe Stores Inc.’s (Nasdaq: BEBE) joint venture with Bluestar Alliance LLC to develop a wholesale licensing business based on the Bebe brand; Coach Inc.’s (NYSE: COH) acquisition of Stuart Weitzman for nearly $574 million; and DSW Inc.’s (NYSE: DSW) deal for Ebuys Inc. to expand online and into international markets.

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