Mall owner Simon and Authentic Brands have offered $ 305 million for Brooks Brothers

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A company known as Sparc LLC, which includes U.S. mall owner Simon Property Group and clothing licensing firm Authentic Brands Group, is bidding on $ 305 million for the Brooks Brothers bankruptcy, announced Thursday. a court record.The offer, still subject to better and higher bids and court approval, is to keep at least 125 Brooks Brothers stores open for business, according to the filing.

A court hearing to approve the offer has been set for Aug. 3, while other competing offers are due by Aug. 5, according to the filing. A hearing to approve the final sale of Brooks Brothers assets is expected to take place on August 11.

Simon, who is the largest shopping center owner in the United States by the number of shopping centers he operates, had previously partnered with ABG to provide financing to allow Brooks Brothers to restructure, while the retailer was looking for a buyer. An $ 80 million loan from the duo calling themselves Sparc came, in a rare deal, with no interest or fees.

Brooks Brothers, known as the pioneer of the polo shirt and the polished preppie uniform, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection from creditors earlier this month on July 8. At the time, it had approximately 250 locations in North America.

It’s certainly not the first time that Simon and ABG have worked together either. They are looking more and more to do it – now through this Sparc entity. With ABG bringing his expertise in manufacturing and licensing, Simon brings his expertise in real estate.

ABG and Simon have set up a criminal harassment offer $ 191 million for the assets of bankrupt denim maker Lucky Brand, which is still subject to court approval.

Prior to the creation of Sparc, ABG and Simon got together in 2016 to buy bankrupt teenage clothing retailer Aeropostale. And, in a deal with mall owner Brookfield Property Partners, they acquired Forever 21 out of bankruptcy last year.

America’s biggest shopping center owners are increasingly looking to strike deals to save retailers hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, CNBC reported. Dozens have filed claims, including JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, J.Crew, New York & Co. parent company RTW Retailwinds, and Ann Taylor parent company, Ascena Retail Group.

In many cases, as this happens, these bankrupt retailers are major tenants in malls, with sprawling store numbers. Meanwhile, some of the nation’s largest retail real estate owners, like Simon, have cash. A lot. On June 29, in an investor update, Simon said he has about $ 8.5 billion in cash on his balance sheet, including about $ 3.5 billion in cash. It issued another $ 2 billion in senior secured notes on July 7.

ABG also operates brands such as Barneys New York, Nautica and Nine West, according to its website.

Simon’s shares are down nearly 59% this year. The company has a market capitalization of $ 18.9 billion.

Read more: Here is the full Brooks Brothers press release

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