Premier Brands Group to acquire Justice
New York-based investment and licensing firm Premier Brands Group has announced that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Ascena Retail Group to purchase its tween fashion and lifestyle brand, Justice.
The deal will see Premier Brands Group, which is specialized in activewear, intimates and loungewear, acquire the intellectual property, e-commerce business and other assets of the Justice brand.
As previously reported by FashionNetwork.com, Ascena will conduct an auction in line with Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, with Premier Brands Groups serving as the stalking horse bidder with an offer of $35 million.
“We are thrilled to proceed in the process to add Justice to our brand portfolio,” said Premier Brands Group CEO Sami Souid in a release. “The Ascena Retail Group has created a fun, beloved, and fashionable brand that we look forward to expanding and building long-term value. Justice is adored by countless families and we are confident that Premier Brands Group as stewards will continue to provide the fashion and experience customers have come to love.”
Ascena filed for bankruptcy in July due to the economic pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic and received court approval for its reorganization plan in September.
As well as the Justice transaction, this plan includes the sale of the plus-size Catherines brand to FullBeauty for $40.8 million.
In July, Ascena also undertook a store closure program affecting more than 1,000 locations, including 606 out of around 800 Justice locations, all 264 Catherines stores, and seven locations run by its premium brands – Ann Taylor, Loft and Lou & Grey.
Even before the coronavirus crisis, Ascena had been struggling due to an aggressive acquisitions strategy that led to the company taking on a number of brands that failed to perform as expected.
The group’s attempts to deal with this situation last year included the liquidation of Dressbarn and the sale of Maurices, effectively putting an end to the company’s operations in the value segment.
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