Art Peck, former chief executive officer of Gap Inc., is back on the fashion scene and teaming up with Seventh Avenue financier Gary Wassner to try to pull together a portfolio of brands for a new age.
The two are leading a new special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, dubbed Good Commerce Acquisition Corp.
Until recently, SPACs were relatively rare on the fashion and consumer investment scene, but they have proliferated during the pandemic, with management teams seeing potential to raise money through an initial public offering with the promise of buying a business. If there’s no deal to be done, the companies return the money to investors, in Good’s case in 24 months.
The Cayman Islands-incorporated Good filed for an offering this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, laying out the company’s vision.
“Our objective is to create a next-generation consumer holding company by combining exceptional brands and leadership teams in the apparel and accessories, outdoor, health and wellness, home and other consumer-related industries to create long-term value for our shareholders,” Good said in the filing.
The company is looking to buy control positions in brand-heavy growth companies that it dubbed as “challengers.”
“Brands with relevance and business models for tomorrow,” Good said. “Brands that have structural growth opportunity in front of them. Brands that sit on modern, nimble technology. Brands that meet their customers where their customers are and move as their customers move. Brands that have value-based cultures.”
Good joins a head-long rush to acquire companies via SPACs, which all together have raised $90 billion so far this year on top of the $82 billion raised last year, according to Dealogic.
While Peck, Wassner and Co. have lots of company, they are also one of the few SPACs to specifically identify apparel as an area of interest, whereas most are simply looking broadly at the consumer space.
They bring a lot of apparel experience to the endeavor.
Peck spent more than 15 years in retail leadership roles before he abruptly stepped down from Gap in 2019 and will lead Good as chairman and CEO. He also has a background in dealmaking having led the Boston Consulting Group’s global mergers and acquisitions practice before joining Gap.
Wassner, an investor who has been CEO of fashion factor Hilldun Corp. for more than 45 years and has worked with hundreds of designers, serves as vice chairman.
They are joined by president Abinta Malik, who worked at Gap for 20 years and served as head of Gap brand’s global e-commerce business and also led the company’s operations in China.
Good noted: “Our management team has extensive relationships ranging from industry executives, private brand owners, private equity funds and investment bankers who together provide extensive global industry and geographical reach, and will enable us to pursue a broad range of potential opportunities.”
And, at least in SPAC-land right now, the opportunities seem endless.
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