The dealmakers are buzzing about Veronica Beard — again.
Three financial sources said the quickly growing advanced contemporary brand has been the subject of overtures to would-be investors in recent weeks.
But clearly Veronica Beard is keeping its options open.
“I have many, many requests,” Unwin said. “I meet with people all the time, but that doesn’t mean we’re undergoing a process.…We’re excited for the future. I don’t know, at this point, what that will bring.”
The company seems to have plenty of options. In a world where many brands and retailers are still struggling to meet the challenges in a more digital age, the brand is posting annual revenue growth of 45 percent or better, according to Unwin, who said the bottom line has been expanding even faster.
The company, which was founded by sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard and counts fashion financiers John Howard and Andrew Rosen among its backers, has tested the market in the past.
Unwin said the company worked with Goldman Sachs to field interest from potential investors in 2018 and received some offers that exceeded its expectations, although the right fit never materialized.
One financial source said the company at the time was “wildly profitable,” with revenues of $80 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $17 million. Unwin declined to confirm those figures.
If the brand did come to market, it could point to Reformation, which is said to have been valued at five-times revenues of $110 million in its sale to private equity firm Permira last year.
Veronica Beard, which has nine stores, an e-commerce site and wholesale accounts, has managed to navigate an extremely tough market, where it’s hard to make money online and department stores have struggled.
The brand, launched in 2010, has been expanding into more categories in recent years, including denim, footwear and swim, taking on a lifestyle positioning.
“We have a strong understanding of our consumer,” Unwin said. “We have an incredible team. And we really have found an excellent balance between our wholesale business and our direct-to-consumer business, which has been growing exponentially over the last three years.”
The company’s e-commerce business is nearly doubling annually and also provides data that helps the brand open its stores strategically.
It’s also been careful on the wholesale front.
The brand sells to Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom and has avoided saturation.
“Both of them have been wonderful partners to us,” Unwin said. “We’re very grateful to them for all they have contributed over the years. Much of our brand awareness has been built through their stores and also their web sites.
“We do believe, though, that we need to limit that so there is some scarcity in the market,” she said. “We’re very fortunate in that our margins have been protected because we don’t engage in a lot of the promotional activity.”