Sequential Brands Group has an agreement to sell its And1, Avia, Gaiam and SPRI activewear brands to Galaxy Universal, a portfolio owned by private equity firm Gainline Capital Partners, for about $330 million.
Galaxy, which also has licensing deals with brands, including Justice and London Fog, earlier this year also acquired Apex Global Brands, which includes Hi-Tec, Magnum and Tony Hawk.
Sequential sold off Ellen Tracy and Caribbean Joe for $20 million in August, shortly before filing for bankruptcy, when it also announced plans to sell most if not all of its assets. Among other sales, Jessica Simpson on Friday won back her namesake brand from Sequential for $65 million following the cancellation of an auction, according to court documents.
For Sequential, the galaxy has never been very far, far away.
When Sequential acquired Galaxy Brand Holdings, which included the intellectual property for the fitness brand Avia and basketball brand And1, seven years ago for $100 million, then-Sequential CEO Yehuda Shmidman called it a "game-changer."
"We are thrilled that this acquisition also brings the expertise of Eddie Esses and the Galaxy team who will continue to lead the business for the newly acquired brands," Shmidman said in a statement at the time.
But the game that Sequential and an entity also named Galaxy appear to be playing is some form of financial musical chairs.
Gainline announced the formation of an entity dubbed "Galaxy Universal," also led by Esses, in May this year for undisclosed terms. That followed Gainline's acquisition of ESO Active Division late last year from E.S. Originals, Inc., which develops and sources products for other brands, including Authentic Brands Groups' Juicy Couture and Nine West.
After picking up the rights to make products under Sequential's Galaxy division, Gainline had apparently been trying to buy the actual brand properties for And1, Avia and the other Galaxy brands from Sequential going back to January 2021, according to court papers.
Esses is described in Friday's release as a "footwear and brand management industry veteran."
"In this everchanging marketplace, we are strategically positioned to deliver on the customers' constantly evolving expectations," Esses said in a statement on Friday. "Galaxy is able to provide great brands, unique designs and upgraded quality at exceptional values."
It's not clear why that didn't happen when Esses and "Galaxy" were at Sequential, which has plodded along, piled with debt, and began to buckle under the load last year. As it churned through executives, the company fell out of compliance with the Nasdaq when it failed to post its quarterly performance. Sequential has spent the better part of this year dismantling its portfolio.
Galaxy Universal owner Gainline seems poised to support further expansion with Esses at the helm. "The rich heritage of these brands combined with the passion, experience and unrivaled track record of Mr. Esses and his team distinguishes this investment," Gainline Managing Partner Allan Weinstein said in a statement. "We are thrilled to support this team and advance the Galaxy partnership as the company expands and future acquisition opportunities present themselves."
Editors Note: Ben Unglesbee contributed to this report.