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PVH Sells Off Heritage Brands as it Turns Focus to Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger

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PVH Corp. is selling its Heritage Brands portfolio — which includes the Izod, Van Heusen, Arrow and Geoffrey Beene brands — to fellow brand management firm Authentic Brands Group for approximately $220 million.

PVH had been working to optimize the Heritage Brands portfolio over the past few years amidst a shifting of resources to “higher-return businesses,” said PVH CEO Steph Larsson. Like many apparel-focused companies, PVH took a hit in 2020, with its stock dropping 50% after consumers cut back on discretionary spending.

“This was a difficult decision, as we recognize that our Heritage Brands business provided the resources that laid the foundation and gave us the opportunity to build PVH into one of the largest fashion companies in the world today,” said Larsson. “We believe ABG is well positioned to develop and invest in these brands for their future success. This transaction reflects our commitment to driving our next chapter of sustainable, profitable growth focused on the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, our international markets, driving product strength with increased pricing power and margin expansion, and winning in the marketplace through super-charging ecommerce.”

Earlier in June PVH announced that Cheryl Abel-Hodges would step down as CEO of Calvin Klein and move into an advisory position. Trish Donnelly, CEO of PVH Americas, who has had oversight of Calvin Klein, will take full global leadership of the business.

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Following the closing of the deal — expected to take place in Q3 2021 — ABG will own and manage the IP of all four brands, adding them to its Lifestyle and Fashion portfolios. The brands currently have a combined 60 licensing partners globally across sportswear, dress furnishings, denim, footwear, accessories, fragrance, home and other categories. ABG will assume all licensing partnerships and marketing initiatives except for the brands’ dress furnishings businesses in North America, which PVH will continue to operate under a license agreement.

“This acquisition was particularly attractive because of PVH’s well-established partnerships for these heritage brands,” said Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of ABG in a statement. “Each brand has strong consumer recognition, global distribution anchored at leading retailers and robust product programs with best-in-class licensing partners. We believe there are significant opportunities to tap into the brands’ rich histories and to further grow their presence around the world.”

This sale marks the latest in a broader shakeup among the larger brand management firms.

Henry Stupp, who served as CEO of Apex Global Brands (formerly Cherokee Global Brands) for 10 years, left the company following its sale to a private equity firm earlier this year, and has since joined ABG as President of EMEA. ABG is reportedly preparing for an IPO this summer.

Iconix entered an agreement earlier this month to go private through an acquisition by a private equity firm. Iconix owns the Candie’s, Joe Boxer, Mossimo and London Fog brands, among others. Additionally, Sequential Brands Group announced that it was selling off a number of its brands, including Heelys, in late April 2021, and is rumored to be looking to sell its stake in the Jessica Simpson brand as part of a potential bankruptcy filing.

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