Unified Commerce Group to acquire Frank And Oak
Unified Commerce Group (UCG) announced on Friday a strategic investment in Canadian sustainable fashion brand Frank And Oak. The transaction is expected to be approved by the Superior Court of Quebec this week.
If approved, the partnership with New York City-based UCG, a retail acquisition and advisory group lead by Dustin Jones and Wall Street veteran Greg Freihofner, is to be implemented through an asset sale transaction for Modasuite Inc., the current Frank And Oak owner.
This new strategic investment will provide Frank And Oak with the necessary resources to continue to support its Canadian customers, as well as fuel its expansion into the United States and other markets, like Asia.
"Frank And Oak is exactly the type of brand we set out to work with and we are excited to embark on its next chapter,” said Dustin Jones, co-founder and CEO of UCG.
“In collaboration with the brand's skilled CEO Jeremy Brown and the talented team in Montreal, we look forward to furthering the brand's success in Canada and abroad."
Frank And Oak is UCG's first strategic investment and will allow the brand to remain headquartered in Montreal.
Like many retail brands worldwide, Frank And Oak has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Canadian retailer, which reportedly has debts amounting to $19 million, filed a notice of intent on June 22, with plans to file a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
The brand has since closed nine stores as part of a restructuring. It currently operates 11 retail locations.
Launched as an e-commerce-only brand for men in 2012 by long-time friends Hicham Ratnani and Ethan Song, the company later expanded into brick-and-mortar, as well as into womenswear, with the launch of its first women’s collection in fall 2016.
"We are privileged to partner with Dustin, Greg and the multi-faceted team at UCG who truly embody our values and share our optimism and vision for Frank And Oak,” said CEO Brown.
“The support and guidance from UCG will allow us to drive sustainable long-term growth for Frank And Oak."
Frank And Oak is one of many Canadian retailers trying to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 crisis, including womenswear chain Reitmans, footwear brand Aldo, and outdoor retailer MEC.
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