Naked Brand Group pushes forward with digital transition, announces new financing and board appointment
Global intimates company Naked Brand Group Limited provided an update on its ongoing transformation into a pure-play e-commerce platform on Monday, revealing progress on its balance sheet and announcing the appointment of a new board member.
The New York-based group, which also operates an office in Sydney, Australia, reported that it has successfully solidified its balance sheet thanks to a series of strategic capital financings. This process resulted in cash proceeds of $270 million, as well as the elimination of all of the company’s previous debt servicing obligations.
The group, whose brand portfolio includes the likes of Bendon, Davenport, Fayreform and Fredericks of Hollywood, also highlighted that it regained compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements in late February.
As it seeks to accelerate its transition to a pure-play digital model, Naked is hoping to divest itself of its Bendon brick-and-mortar operations – including some 60 company-owned stores in Australia and New Zealand – in the second calendar quarter of 2021. This deal would also include the sale of the Bendon, Bendon Man, Davenport, Fayreform, Hickory, Lovable and Pleasure State brands.
According to the company, it is currently “in the final stages of receiving the necessary regulatory approval and preparing to seek shareholder approval” for the divesture.
However, it is also worth noting that the parties involved in the deal, which would see Bendon’s brick-and-mortar operations sold to a group controlled by Naked executive chairman and recently re-appointed CEO Justin Davis-Rice, and Bendon CEO Anna Johnson, have not yet entered into a definitive agreement.
Commenting on the latest developments in Naked’s digital journey in a release, Davis-Rice explained, “this additional capital will further transform our balance sheet, and now with over $270 million in cash and no debt we are strategically positioned to pursue accretive acquisitions of high growth and cash flow positive businesses.”
“Our strong balance sheet further solidifies the opportunity to be a conduit for industry consolidation as we seek to invest in next generation technology that will enable our customers to access and experience the best brands using world class technology solutions,” he added.
Following the re-naming of Davis-Rice as Naked’s CEO, the company also announced on Monday that it is further aligning its leadership team with its strategic goals through the appointment of Simon Tripp to its board of directors.
An investment banker and M&A executive with more than 30 years of professional experience, Tripp is expected to put his expertise in acquisitions to use to support the development of Naked’s e-commerce business.
“This is a very exciting time for e-commerce as the Covid-19 pandemic has brought forward a complete ‘digital first’ environment across all brick-and-mortar consumer outlets,” said Tripp. “The acquisition environment is rich with opportunity at attractive valuations and we have already begun working with Justin and his team to identify potential opportunities.”
Formed by the merger of Naked Brand Group and Bendon Limited in 2018, the current incarnation of Naked distributes its products in 14 countries, where its brands are present in over 300 retail doors.
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