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David Beckham in talks with Global Brands Group about taking full control of Seven Global

Lauretta Roberts
14 July 2021

David Beckham is reported to be in talks with Global Brands Group (GBG) about buying out their stake in a licensing joint venture with his consumer goods business Seven Global.

According to Sky News, Beckham's vehicle David Beckham Ventures Limited (DBVL) is in early stage negotiations with GBG to buy the stake for an estimated £29m.

The move would afford Beckham greater control of a number of lucrative commercial deals, including those with Adidas, watch brand Tudor, fragrance giant Coty and eyewear maker Safilo.

It is understood that DBVL has a 49% stake in Seven Global, which was formed in 2015. The business was created in the wake of Beckham's commercial relationship with music mogul Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment. In 2019 it was reported that Beckham had acquired Fuller's 33% stake in his business.

Global Brands Group was originally created as a division of Hong Kong based fashion giant Li & Fung to manage private-label brands in 2005. It was subsequently spun off and listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2014.

The emergence of talks with Beckham follows reports that GBG was looking to offload brands amid the fall-out from the pandemic. It recently sold the Spyder brand to a Korean investor for $19.5m.

The company’s current stable of brands under ownership, licensing or management include Aquatalia, Frye, Ellen Tracey, Marvel, Sean John, Allsaints and Katy Perry.

Last month it issued a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange declaring its doubt about being able to continue as a going concern as its liabilities exceeded its assets by $899m at the end of September.

In the statement the company said it has been "pursuing a number of measures to generate adequate financing and operating cashflows with the aim of ensuring that the group continues as a going concern.” It also said it might divert funds from the Spyder sale to on-going operations, rather than paying down debt.

More recently it has been reported that advisory firms including Alvarez & Marsal, Ankura and Teneo were being lined up to carry out a restructure at GBG.

GBG investors are said to be keen to see talks with Beckham, which are understood to have begun in the past week, advance to formal talks about a deal.

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