It’s a done deal.
On Friday, Authentic Brands Group officially completed the acquisition of Ted Baker for 110 pence a share in cash, or around 211 million pounds. The deal was revealed in mid-August after an on-again, off-again negotiation process.
“We are excited to welcome Ted Baker to the Authentic family,” said Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of ABG. “This uniquely British brand enhances our fashion portfolio and further reinforces ABG’s brand presence in the U.K., Europe and the Middle East. The purchase of Ted Baker is in line with our strategic focus on growing and diversifying the portfolio through the acquisitions of brands that originate from outside of the U.S.”
ABG will leverage its global network of partners to convert the Ted Baker business into a licensed business model. ABG is already in discussions with operators in key regions to manage the manufacturing, physical retail, e-commerce and wholesale operations of the Ted Baker business. It will work closely with the Ted Baker team on the management, marketing and evolution of the business, ABG said Friday.
Salter declined to comment further on specific plans for the brand at this point.
Ted Baker put itself up for sale in April after receiving a clutch of unsolicited bid proposals. Among the interested parties were Sycamore Partners and Bluestar Allliance. ABG was always a front-runner, but walked away in June after its due diligence revealed the financials were not what it had expected. It reconsidered two months later.
Ted Baker was founded by Ray Kelvin in 1987 and for decades was a recognizable brand on the British high street with its quirky, colorful take on the season’s trends.
However, the past few years haven’t been easy for the brand, which is available in 370 freestanding stores, in-store shops and concessions worldwide. Kelvin resigned in 2019 amid staff complaints about inappropriate physical contact (which he always denied), and the company went on to face a series of crises. In the subsequent years, it posted a string of profit warnings and suffered accounting and management troubles.
ABG owns more than 50 brands including Reebok, Brooks Brothers and Nautica and has $24 billion in retail sales with distribution in more than 150 countries.