BlackRock made a big $875 million investment and became the largest shareholder of a company that owns Sports Illustrated, Nine West, Juicy Couture and dozens of other brands.
The investment is the first for BlackRock’s new private-equity fund, Long Term Private Capital, which the company said in April was ready to start investing after securing $2.75 billion. That fund will account for $625 million of the total investment in Authentic Brands Group.
BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager and some analysts think its new fund could change the landscape of private-equity investing. Most private-equity funds are expected to generate relatively short-term returns for investors through a buyout or public listing. But the Long Term Private Capital fund will provide “long-term private ownership” for “strong, stable companies,” the fund’s managing director André Bourbonnais said in a statement in April.
Authentic Brands Group was founded by CEO Jamie Salter in 2010. The company now owns 50 brands, including Juicy Couture and Aeropostale, that account for $9.3 billion in annual retail sales. In May, it purchased the brand and intellectual property of Sports Illustrated for $110 million from Meredith Corporation (MDP).
The BlackRock spokesperson declined to comment on the valuation of Authentic Brands Group, but the Wall Street Journal reports the deal values the company at $4 billion including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.