Premier Brands Group on Wednesday announced the sale of apparel brand Anne Klein to WHP Global, a new brand management platform (also launched on Wednesday) led by Wave Hill Partners founder Yehuda Shmidman. The transaction amount was not disclosed in a press release on the two developments.
WHP Global, "founded to acquire and manage multiple global consumer brands," is backed by a $200 million equity commitment from private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., according to the press release. Anne Klein, which according to the release generates over $700 million in global retail sales, is its first acquisition.
Shmidman has had several c-suite brand management roles, and has "raised and invested nearly $2 billion of institutional capital in fashion, home, entertainment and consumer brands," according to the release. He also serves as vice chairman of new Toys R Us parent, Tru Kids.
Nine West Holdings was rechristened Premier Brands Group earlier this year as it regrouped amid bankruptcy restructuring. The original name no longer made much sense, considering the namesake Nine West brand was sold off last year, along with Bandolino, to Authentic Brands Group for around $340 million.
Since then, the remaining company, which houses the Kasper, Gloria Vanderbilt and One Jeanswear brands plus a jewelry business, has reportedly looked to sell off those remaining brands, as a portfolio or piecemeal.
Premier isn't entirely letting go of Anne Klein, as it will act "as a long-term licensee for multiple categories including sportswear and jewelry," according to a statement from Premier Brands Group CEO Ralph Schipani. "The Anne Klein brand is in good hands," he also said, adding, "The divestiture aligns with our focus of being a leading wholesaler of women's apparel, jeanswear, and accessories to major U.S. and international retailers."
Oaktree Vice President Ted Crockin, who is also on WHP's board, said in a statement that the brand's "extensive heritage and strong sales base" make it "the perfect brand to kick off the WHP portfolio." Plans are to drive growth by partnering with "key retailers in the US, including Macy’s," and expanding its categories and its global reach. WHP in its release also said that it plans to "invest significantly in marketing, social media and digital commerce to drive increased brand engagement."