by Stephen Garner
New Era x Nautica

BlackRock, Inc. announced that entities affiliated with its Long Term Private Capital (LTPC) fund have made a strategic investment of $875 million in Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of a portfolio of a range of iconic brands. LTPC will become the largest investor in ABG and will work closely alongside its management, led by founder, chairman and CEO James Salter and president and CMO Nick Woodhouse. LTPC joins existing ABG investors including founding investor Leonard Green & Partners, General Atlantic, Lion Capital, Simon Property Group, Brookfield Properties’ retail group and Shaquille O’Neal.

ABG has experienced significant growth since it was founded in 2010 and is now a world-leading brand development, marketing, and entertainment company.  The company’s portfolio of over 50 brands generates close to $10 billion in annual worldwide revenue in more than 70 countries. The ABG portfolio includes brands such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal, Greg Norman, Thalia Sodi, Neil Lane, Nautica, Aéropostale, Vince Camuto, Nine West, Juicy Couture, Frye, Spyder, Prince, and Judith Lieber.

“The strategic investment by LTPC is a testament to the success we have had building a leading platform for the ownership and development of brand and media content,” said Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO at ABG. “BlackRock’s scale, global footprint and digital capabilities will enable us to build out our organization and continue our domestic and international growth trajectory. This investment marks an important and exciting next phase of expansion for ABG.”

“ABG is an innovator in the licensing and branding industry,” noted Colm Lanigan, senior member of the Long Term Private Capital team. “We have built a close relationship with Jamie and Nick over the past ten years as they’ve established this company as a leader in the licensing industry by successfully capitalizing on trends and continuing to innovate in the evolving consumer space.  They have built a best-in-class business model and grown it with flawless execution. We believe there is substantial growth still ahead for ABG and look forward to partnering with Jamie and Nick to build a global platform that brings together the worlds of fashion, health and wellness, sports, culture and entertainment.”

“We are delighted to have ABG as LTPC’s first investment,” added André Bourbonnais, global head of Long Term Private Capital. “ABG represents exactly the type of high-quality business run by a proven management team that we target with our investment strategy. ABG will have the full support of the LTPC team, our operating partners and the BlackRock platform.  We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship.”

Prince x UNKNWN