WHP Global acquires majority stake in Isaac Mizrahi
WHP Global announced on Tuesday it has entered into an agreement with Xcel Brands, which will see the brand management firm acquire a 70% stake in fashion brand Isaac Mizrahi from the media and consumer products firm.
The transaction, valued at $68 million, includes $46.2 million in cash proceeds to Xcel, which will retain a 30% minority interest in the Isaac Mizrahi brand. Under the terms of a services agreement with WHP Global, Xcel will continue to manage the Isaac Mizrahi's QVC (a U.S. television network and shopping channel owned by Qurate Retail Group) business with WHP Global and has entered into a new license agreement to design and distribute Isaac Mizrahi apparel in the U.S. and Canada.
Isaac Mizrahi, the eponymous women's fashion label founded in 1987 by American designer Isaac Mizrahi, has garnered a strong following among several celebrities including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Audrey Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Rihanna, Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Selma Blair, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Carla Bruni. Since its inception, the brand has expanded into sportswear, footwear, handbags, watches, eyewear, tech accessories, home and other merchandise, which has seen it win four CFDA awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and generated more than $1 billion in retail sales.
Today, it is sold in Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson’s Bay; interactive television, including QVC and The Shopping Channel; national specialty retailers; and internationally in Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and Japan.
On the investment from WHP Global, Isaac Mizrahi, who will continue to serve as chief design officer of his namesake brand, said, “I’m very excited to harness the power of my brand. I couldn’t ask for better partners.”
Xcel Brands CEO and chairman Robert D’Loren said the Isaac Mizrahi brand has grown for more than a decade under its leadership, adding the new arrangement with WHP looks to take the label's growth global.
“The Isaac Mizrahi business has grown for 12 years straight under Xcel’s stewardship and we’re pleased to now partner with WHP to continue the brand’s global momentum,” said D'Loren.
“Selling a majority interest in the Isaac Mizrahi brand is a transformative moment in Xcel’s history and represents the first time we have monetized one of our brands since Xcel was founded in 2011. Xcel is now debt-free, with over $17 million in cash and $22 million of working capital on our balance sheet, which will help fuel a number of our upcoming strategic initiatives as we concentrate our resources on growing our brands, new brand launches and investing in livestreaming technology platforms and partnerships.”
With the addition of Isaac Mizrahi, WHP Global now owns and manages over $4.2 billion in retail sales across its portfolio of brands, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing brand management firms in the world.
“We are excited to partner with Isaac and Xcel as we work together to architect and orchestrate the next phase of growth for the Isaac Mizrahi fashion house," said Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and chief executive officer at WHP Global.
"We see meaningful opportunities to expand the brand by leveraging WHP Global’s platform and the reach of our fashion vertical, which now includes Anne Klein, Joseph Abboud, Joe’s Jeans, William Rast and Isaac Mizrahi.”
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