by John Russel Jones

Authentic Brands Group (Authentic), has announced a $500M primary follow-on investment from its current investor General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm. Authentic intends to leverage its continued partnership with General Atlantic to support its worldwide expansion and accelerate its proven playbook, which connects strong brands with dynamic partners and a global network of operators, distributors, and retailers to optimize value in the marketplace.

General Atlantic first partnered with Authentic in October 2017, with its latest investment bringing the firm’s total invested capital in the company to nearly $2B. Since General Atlantic’s initial investment, Authentic has executed nearly 30 brand acquisitions and diversified its platform through new verticals, including media, outdoor, events and experiences, and most recently, studios.

“General Atlantic’s increased investment in Authentic is a testament to the strength of our proprietary brand platform, business model, and team,” said Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Authentic. “General Atlantic takes an innovative investment approach and shares our vision for building brand value for the long term. We are proud to be part of General Atlantic’s selective portfolio of first-movers and established companies and look forward to continuing to partner with them to evolve and scale our model worldwide.”

Since its founding in 2010, Authentic has swiftly grown into one of the world’s leading brand platforms. In 2022, the company continued to accelerate its growth through a strategic partnership with David Beckham to co-own and manage his global brand; completed its largest acquisition to date with sports culture brand Reebok; and finalized the acquisition of British lifestyle brand Ted Baker, reinforcing the company’s presence in the UK, Europe, and the Middle East. In recent months, Authentic has acquired the intellectual property of luxury lifestyle brand Vince and outdoor lifestyle brand Hunter, as well as signed a definitive agreement to purchase active lifestyle company Boardriders. The company also unveiled Authentic Studios, a full-service production studio that comprises four distinct labels, including Shaquille O’Neal’s Jersey Legends, David Beckham’s Studio 99, Sports Illustrated Studios, and Authentic Productions.

Today, Authentic’s portfolio of 40-plus iconic and renowned brands generates more than $25B in global annual retail sales and has an expansive retail footprint in 150 countries, including 10,800-plus freestanding stores and shop-in-shops and 380,000 points of sale.

Andrew Crawford, Managing Director and Global Head of Consumer at General Atlantic said, “General Atlantic is proud to be a long-term partner to Jamie and the Authentic Brands Group team. Over the past six years of our work together, Authentic has significantly accelerated its growth by capitalizing on meaningful M&A opportunities, expanding into key markets, and building a deeply experienced management team. Looking ahead, we believe Authentic is positioned for continued diversification across categories, license partners, geographies, and distribution channels, with immense whitespace in digital and e-commerce particularly. We are thrilled to continue collaborating with Authentic to further scale its differentiated portfolio of brands.”

Authentic’s other significant shareholders include BlackRock, CVC Capital Partners, Simon Property Group, HPS Investment Partners, Leonard Green & Partners, and Brookfield.

Photo, above: courtesy of Pexels.