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Simon Property, Authentic Brands To Acquire Eddie Bauer

Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands Group have inked a deal to buy retailer Eddie Bauer from private equity investor Golden Gate Capital, which acquired the outdoor lifestyle gear purveyor out of bankruptcy in 2009


The acquisition is being made by Authentic and SPARC Group, a venture backed by Authentic and Simon. The partnership also owns Aéropostale, Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers

The partners didn't disclose how much they paid for Eddie Bauer, which has about 300 stores in North America, fewer than the 370 it had when Golden Gate acquired it. Eddie Bauer operates several stores in Simon malls.

The new owners plan to keep Eddie Bauer's headquarters in Seattle, and its president, Damien Huang, will remain in that post.

As a retail category, outdoor gear, especially clothing, has sold relatively well during the coronavirus pandemic, as Americans sought diversion from the crisis, Bloomberg reports. In February, Kohl's sought to capitalize on the trend by forming a partnership with Eddie Bauer to sell the brand's outdoor apparel at as many as 500 Kohl's locations.

The deal is expected to close by the beginning of June. The new owners say that they also plan to expand internationally, with near-term launches of the brand in China and South Korea.

"The global outdoor market opportunity has grown exponentially over the last year and we are ready to hit the ground running," Authentic Chairman and CEO Jamie Salter said in a statement.