A.L.C. is said to be making the rounds with fashion’s dealmakers.
The buzzy brand designed by Andrea Lieberman is being shopped around by investment bank Rothschild & Co., multiple sources told WWD.
Lieberman sold a majority stake in the company to the Lee Equity Partners-backed InterLuxe in 2015. Since then the business has developed and its profile has grown.
Last month, during a preview of her resort 2023 collection, Lieberman said: “Business, touch wood, is fantastic. We’re in the process of opening a store in Miami in October, we launched swimwear, we found our sweet spot.”
What’s selling is “dresses, dresses, dresses,” the designer said. “People are going out with a vengeance.”
The brand’s sales are said to weigh in at about $60 million with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $15 million.
But it seems to be time for the companies’ backers to move on. Seven years is a relatively long investment in the world of private equity. InterLuxe is no longer making new investments, but also has a stake in Mackage and earlier exited its investment in Jason Wu.
Gary Wassner, who is a board member at InterLuxe and A.L.C., declined to comment on Wednesday, as did a representative for the brand. Rothschild did not return a WWD query.
The process is playing out in a very different world this time through.
The economy is shaky, inflation sky high, the war in Ukraine rages and COVID-19 continues to gum up supply chains.
But so far, higher-end consumers, like those who gravitate to A.L.C., have held up very well all things considered.
Complicating matters, though, is the market for apparel. Private equity companies have soured to some degree on fashion as there are fewer natural buyers for midsized brands — even those that are doing well. And the big strategic buyers are looking for big deals to build their own skill.