Markets: Retail Giant Authentic Brands Files For IPO

Authentic Brands Group logo

Authentic Brands Group, a parent firm to many popular retail and consumer brands, has filed to hit the US public markets. It’s unveiled an S-1 filing with the SEC showing its intent to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

  • Authentic Brands is a parent firm to more than 50 consumer brands, including retailers Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers, and even the Sports Illustrated magazine. Founded in 2010, it’s the ideal private equity play where Authentic had access to big funding to buy up and consolidate many retail and consumer brands.
  • Since its start, Authentic has spent over $2.5bn on acquisitions, financed by big-name investors including BlackRock, General Atlantic, and Simon Property Group, the three of which each owns a stake of over 5% in the company.
  • With its consolidation, Authentic Brands built a strong business for itself with $489mn in sales for 2020, up slightly from $480mn in the previous year. On a net basis, the company is very profitable, with a $211mn profit in 2020 and $73mn in 2019.
  • Authentic rarely operates retail properties of its own, but licenses the popular brand names it owns to external retail operators for a fee. It’s the licensing fees that make up most of its revenue and allows it to maintain profit margins that are unusual in the world of physical retail.
  • The final terms of Authentic’s IPO have not yet been set. Previous rumors have it that the company is targeting a valuation of at least $10bn with its IPO.
  • Authentic has filed to list on the New York Stock Exchange with the trading symbol “AUTH”.

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