- Two luxury veterans and former chiefs of the company today known as Tapestry are leading a newly created SPAC (special purpose acquisition company).
- Jide Zeitlin and Lew Frankfort are co-CEOs of the new vehicle, named Bleuacacia, which is looking to raise $300 million from investors for it to buy yet-to-be-determined companies in consumer-facing spaces, according to a securities filing.
- Bleuacacia said it aims to "pursue acquisitions of global high-growth premium consumer-facing brands that have a powerful emotional engagement with millennial and Gen Z consumers."
As IPOs and acquisitions pick up in retail, SPACs are entering industry parlance along with many other corners of the economy. The special vehicles have license from their investors to buy what they see fit to. Those who buy their shares often put their faith in the expertise and connections of executives of SPACs, also called blank-check companies — for that reason.
Bleuacacia says it aims to "focus on businesses where we believe our management's background and experience operating businesses with premium consumer-facing brands can assist in executing an accelerated plan to create value for our shareholders in the public markets."
The company goes on to add, "We may also pursue acquisition opportunities in other sectors."
Bleuacacia, like many other SPACs, puts special emphasis on its management team. "We believe our management's multi-decade track record of building and growing premium consumer-facing brands and retail businesses positions us well to create value for our shareholders," the company said. "Our team has a combination of deep operating experience and broad investment credentials, having worked at each stage of a company's lifecycle."
Heading up Bleuacacia are Frankfort, who was CEO of Coach Inc. from 1985 to 2014; Zeitlin, who led the company as CEO once it was renamed Tapestry following the acquisition of Kate Spade; and president and Chief Operating Officer Charles McGuigan, who is the retired COO of L Brands.
Zeitlin resigned abruptly last year after the company's board investigated misconduct allegations around a relationship preceding his time as CEO. Zeitlin at the time issued a lengthy public response saying that he was the target of a "hit job" by a reporter writing a profile about him. In its filing, Bleuacacia noted that it conducted legal due diligence that confirmed Zeitlin had a "personal consensual relationship" over 12 years ago unrelated to his time at Tapestry and "did not reveal any additional material or negative information which we believe would impair Mr. Zeitlin's suitability to serve as our chief executive officer."
Bleuacacia said it is on the hunt for brands with "a large addressable market with a strong existing and potential customer base," and that have a "powerful emotional engagement" with millennial and Gen Z consumers. It also wants brands with "visible, recurring revenues, scalable growth, and best-in-class operating margins."
The firm is hardly the only one looking to acquire hot consumer brands, nor is it alone as a SPAC headed by industry veterans. Ex-Gap CEO Art Peck launched a SPAC earlier this year, as has Simon Property Group, which has asked investors for a blank check to buy a company "in any industry" while targeting the (still quite broad) "'Live, Work, Play, Stay, Shop' ecosystem." Brands in the space have gone public through SPACs as well, including Boxed and BarkBox.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is currently scrutinizing SPACs over their disclosures and filings.