- WHP Global, the parent company of retailers like Anne Klein, Toys R Us and Babies R Us, received a $375 million equity investment from Ares Management Corporation, according to a Wednesday press release shared with Retail Dive. The deal values WHP Global at $1.6 billion.
- The company said the funding will allow the company to pursue future mergers and acquisitions.
- WHP Global said that its international portfolio of fashion, hard goods and athletic brands generates more than $6.5 billion in retail sales worldwide.
For Ares Management Corp., the investment in WHP Global was a vote of confidence in its platform and future growth, Jordan Smith, partner in the Ares Private Equity Group, said in a statement. Smith also said the investment firm will work with WHP Global to buy and grow more international consumer brands.
“WHP Global has experienced record-setting growth since its founding in 2019, and this new significant investment from Ares gives us a powerful edge to capitalize on today’s robust M&A market as we chart the course for our next phase of growth,” Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and CEO of WHP Global, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled for this partnership with Ares, and excited to advance our company alongside our existing shareholder base that includes Oaktree, Solus, Platform Founder Group and WHP employees.”
Over the past few years, WHP Global has acquired brands on its own or with the help of investment partners. In July 2019, the newly-formed company bought Anne Klein for an undisclosed sum. About two years later, the company teamed up with Centric Brands to purchase the Joe’s Jeans brand for $48.5 million in cash and assumed liabilities. WHP Global invested $260 million in December to acquire a 7.4% stake in Express.
Meanwhile, Ares Mangement has invested in a number of retailers and brands including 99 Cents Only, Guiltar Center, GNC Holdings, Rent the Runway and Revlon.
As part of the transaction, Smith and Aaron Rosen, also a partner in the Ares Private Equity Group, will join WHP Global’s board of directors.