Mar 27, 2023
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Bluestar Alliance acquires bankrupt Scotch & Soda, some downsizing likely

Mar 27, 2023

​Dutch fashion business Scotch & Soda has been acquired by Bluestar Alliance, the American brand management company, for an undisclosed sum, with the new owner believing it can attract new shoppers to the label. 

Scotch & Soda

On Monday it said the purchase will “allow for the continuation of the brand and its products across key markets including the Netherlands”.

However, it appears that some jobs will be lost, although full details of what will happen aren’t yet available.

Bluestar will now add the Amsterdam-based label to its extensive portfolio that includes action sports brand Hurley, plus Bebe and Tahari, among others.

Its CEO Joseph Gabbay said the company is continuing to strategically build its portfolio and sees Scotch & Soda “as a unique fit, widely known for its roots in Amsterdam and celebrating self-expression with a modern twist on timeless fashion pieces”.

And COO Ralph Gindi added that “the niche brand sits on its own and attracts a younger fashion-conscious consumer who appreciates fine craftmanship and attention to detail. Our goal is to continue Scotch & Soda's luxury retail distribution strategy, while also introducing the brand to more trendsetters, especially those looking to express their personality through their clothing”.

The deal should close in the next few weeks, at which point more details will be shared, we’re told.

Meanwhile, Jasper Berkenbosch, attorney at Jones Day and trustee of the bankrupt entities, said there had been plenty of interest in acquiring “some of the bankrupt assets, [but] the proposal of Bluestar Alliance was by far the best deal for all stakeholders involved”. 

Erik Schuurs, co-trustee, also spoke of “good news for quite a large group of employees at Scotch & Soda, even if, unfortunately, not all employees can be kept on board. Scotch & Soda is a great brand and I'm glad to see that it can prosper under the management of a company with a great track record.”

Scotch & Soda’s new parent company was founded by Gabbay and Gindi in 2006. It currently manages a portfolio whose retail sales run into the billions and has over 300 licensees plus a growing branded retail platform of over 100 stores worldwide.

Scotch & Soda, founded in 1985, is sold via 253 standalone stores across Europe, North America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia, as well as in 7,000 multibrand doors. The label’s online operations also ship to over 70 countries. 

Owned by Sun Capital, it filed for bankruptcy for its Dutch operation earlier this month, citing cash flow issues that started during the pandemic.

That’s despite it recently investing heavily in a raft of international flagship stores and launching multiple collaborations.

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