Authentic Brands Group Plans IPO at $10B Valuation


Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which has been buying up bankrupt retailers at a rapid clip with mall-owner Simon Property Group, plans to go public later this year.

The brand management company will seek a $10 billion valuation, though that could change throughout the initial public offering (IPO) process, Bloomberg reported. ABG was valued at $4 billion in 2019 when BlackRock made an $875 million investment. 

SEE ALSO: The Secrets to Small-Format Retail’s Success

ABG has since picked up a number of mall retailers facing bankruptcy, including acquiring Forever 21, Brooks Brothers, Juicy Couture and JCPenney in 2020 alone. Many of those deals were done in conjunction with mall owners Simon and Brookfield Properties, and sometimes both. 

Jamie Salter founded Authentic Brands in 2010, and had about 30 brands under its umbrella prior to the pandemic while bringing in $15 billion in revenue a year, per Bloomberg. Those brands include mostly fashion retailers, but also some celebrity brands and Sports Illustrated

In 2016, Salter teamed up with Simon for the first time to buy Aéropostale out of bankruptcy. It was also one of the first times that ABG bought not just the brand’s intellectual property, but its operating businesses as well. Last year, Simon and ABG formed a joint venture, dubbed SPARC Group, which recently purchased outdoor retailer Eddie Bauer.  

On its first-quarter earnings call, Simon said the retailers that SPARC purchased outperformed in April and May, particularly Forever 21 and Aéropostale.