Marquee Brands acquires Ben Sherman
Ben Sherman will not be swapping the Stars and Stripes for the Union Jack. The popular brand founded in Great Britain in 1963 was for a time expected to be bought back by British buyers. Alas, an announcement on Monday confirmed that it will indeed remain in the hands of Americans via Marquee Brands.
Oxford Industries, which bought the brand in 2004, announced that it wanted to sell the brand in 2015. Mission accomplished. Marquee Brands has acquired the label in exchange for 40.8 million pounds, or 63.5 million US dollars.
Established in 1963, and synonymous with British youth culture, the Ben Sherman brand and shirt has been a fixture across generations of style movements. Ben Sherman's colours, cuts and patterns have influenced modern men's wear by combining British style with international fashion trends.
"Ben Sherman remains a uniquely classic British brand with a loyal following across five continents and a smartness that's ageless. Its heritage, style and authenticity fits perfectly within Marquee's growing portfolio," stated Cory M. Baker, chief operating officer of Marquee Brands. "Our plans to market and promote the brand across various lifestyle categories are well underway with new products and expanded retail coming to market as early as first quarter, 2016."
Indeed, the company's revenue increased from 67.2 to 77.5 million dollars in its 2014-15 fiscal year closed at the end of January compared to the year prior. Its operational losses decreased from 13.1 to 10.8 million dollars.
Ben Sherman is the second investment for Marquee Brands this year following its acquisition of Italian luxury brand Bruno Magli in February. Both acquisitions represent a growing portfolio of brands with a rich history and a global footprint, with Bruno Magli founded in 1936 in Bologna, Italy and Ben Sherman established in 1963 in Brighton, England.
Marquee Brands has the potential to become a major player. Created last year, the structure is showing off its ambition to become a player to be reckoned with, with its brands and its licenses. The fact that the company is linked to Neuberger Berman only makes its projects more credible. The American private investment group (with an accumulated portfolio of 251 billion dollars) is present around the world and has the necessary contacts to find new targets. Its contacts should also allow it easier to develop its brands in new territories.
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