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BCBG Max Azria deal is "transformational" says Marquee Brands

Lauretta Roberts
02 August 2017

Marquee Brands' acquisition of the BCBG Max Azria brand portfolio is "transformational" for the brand house, according to its investment manager.

The business announced yesterday that it had acquired BCBGMAXAZRIA, BCBGeneration and Herve Leger brands and all their intellectual property, which represent its fourth, fifth and sixth acquisitions. Marquee already owns British menswear brand Ben Sherman (acquired in 2015), Italian luxury brand Bruno Magli (acquired in 2015) and activewear brand Body Glove (acquired last year).

"Acquiring these three brands is transformational for Marquee as we step firmly into women's fashion and further diversify our portfolio," said Zachary Sigel, managing director of Neuberger Berman. "Our mandate and focus on buying relevant brands with their greatest years ahead hasn't wavered and this acquisition further evidences that commitment," added Sam Porat, also managing director of the investment manager.

As part of the deal, in which Marquee paid $106m for the brands and IP, Global Brand Group (part of the Fung Group) will develop and manage their core categories through a licensed partnership also operate the BCBG stores (of which there are five in the UK) and supply global product. Global Brand Group paid $27.4m for the licensing and operations.

Marquee Brands chief operating officer Cory M Baker said BCBGMAXAZRIA and BCBGeneration each spoke to a specific customer "who has come to rely on these brands to help express her unique style and personality". "Few women's contemporary brands carry this much affinity among consumers and retailers alike," he added.

BCBG Max Azria Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February of this year and Marquee and Global Brand Group expressed their intention to acquire the business in June. "BCBG has accomplished its goal to remain a viable, creative and strong brand through the sale transactions with Marquee and Global Brands,” said Marty Staff, acting interim CEO of the BCBG Max Azria Group.

"I would like to thank the BCBG team and all parties involved for their hard work. While there is no question that this has been a difficult process, we can all be appreciative of the significant efforts made by so many stakeholders to agree to a path forward for BCBG and its employees," Staff said.

BCBG was founded by Tunisian fashion designer Max Azria in 1989 with an aim to offer designer fashion at affordable prices and held its first catwalk show at New York Fashion Week in 1996. In 1998 it acquired premium women's brand Herve Leger which was famous for its bandage body con dresses. Azria left the business last year.

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