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Steve & Barry’s Sold to Bay Harbour

Investment firm pays $168 million at auction.

NEW YORK — BH S&B Holdings, a newly-formed affiliate of investment firm Bay Harbour Management, was the successful bidder at the Steve & Barry’s auction that concluded early Thursday morning.

The bid, subject to Manhattan bankruptcy court approval this morning at 11 a.m., is expected to be completed on Aug. 25.

Under the terms of the $168 million purchase agreement, the majority of Steve & Barry’s 276 stores will continue to operate, offering collections created with entertainers and athletes including Sarah Jessica Parker, Venus Williams, Amanda Bynes, Laird Hamilton, Ben Wallace and Bubba Watson, all of which are produced under licensing relationship with Steve & Barry’s.

BH S&B Holdings has not yet made any decisions concerning which Steve & Barry’s stores will close or when, but an announcement is anticipated next week.

The acquisition by BH S&B Holdings also includes Steve & Barry’s intellectual property rights, such as its celebrity and brand licenses, and the company’s key facilities, including its Port Washington, N.Y., headquarters; Columbus, Ohio, distribution center, and certain overseas offices.

“Steve & Barry’s offers a unique, high-value shopping destination to the American consumer — a store where one can buy the exciting Bitten collection by Sarah Jessica Parker, EleVen brand cross-trainers designed by Venus Williams that she wore while winning both Wimbledon and an Olympic gold medal this summer, and so many other tremendous brands,” said Douglas Teitelbaum, managing principal of Bay Harbour Management.
According to Teitelbaum, “There’s a fundamentally strong business model at Steve & Barry’s that just needs some fine-tuning to get it back on a growth track in order to reach its full potential.”

“I am very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish with the Bitten brand, and have seen first-hand the efforts Steve & Barry’s has put forth to ensure it achieves what we set out to do — make classic casual sportswear accessible to all women,” said Sarah Jessica Parker. “I’m very pleased that Steve & Barry’s will be able to continue to deliver on that mission and look forward to continuing our strong partnership.”

Among the other investors in BH S&B Holdings are Steve & Barry’s co-founders Steve Shore and Barry Prevor.

For complete coverage, see Friday’s WWD.