Differential Brands Group ushers in new era as Centric Brands

Having completed the acquisition of a significant portion of Li & Fung-owned Global Brands Group Holding Limited’s American licensing business, Differential Brands Group Inc. announced on Tuesday that it has changed its name to Centric Brands, Inc. and will be welcoming Jason Rabin as its new CEO.
 

The newly rebaptised Centric Brands' company-owned brands include Robert Graham, Hudson and Swims - Instagram: @robertgrahamnyc

The acquisition, which was first announced in June and closed with a purchase price of $1.2 billion, adds a slew of high-profile licenses to the newly rebaptised Centric Brands’ portfolio, including Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Tommy Hilfiger and Kate Spade, as well as entertainment properties such as Disney, Marvel and Nickelodeon.
 
These licenses join the group’s company-owned brands Hudson, Robert Graham and Swims.
 
Thanks to the transaction, Centric Brands expects to generate over $2.3 billion in pro forma annual revenue and hopes to be able to create a platform through which it can seamlessly add new company-owned brands and licenses to its portfolio.
 
“With the closing of the acquisition and structuring of the new Centric Brands platform, we have brought together best-in-class operating capabilities with a strong portfolio of brands across areas of core expertise including kid’s wear, women’s and men’s accessories and apparel. Centric Brands looks forward to building its relationship with Li & Fung and its global sourcing networks,” said Centric Brands Chairman of the Board William Sweedler in a press release.
 
Operating offices in Greensboro, LA and Montreal, and employing some 4,000 people, Centric Brands will be headquartered in New York where it will be led by new CEO Jason Rabin.
 
Rabin joins the company from Global Brands Group, where he has served as president for North America since November 2015, having first arrived as chief merchandising officer in 2014.

Prior to this, the University of Miami graduate spent five years at another Li & Fung company, LF Distribution Holding Inc., at first as president of the kids’ division of the group’s US subsidiary, before taking on the role of president for LF Asia Limited.
 
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead Centric Brands as we solidify our position in the market as a world class lifestyle brands collective,” stated Rabin. “With the unmatched sourcing network of Li & Fung, industry expertise and a large-scale platform, we have the ability to expand organically through brand, category and channel growth, as well as the potential to add brands to our portfolio through new licenses and acquisitions across strategic verticals.”
 
Sweedler, managing partner of Tengram Partners LP, a company which played an important role in the acquisition, will continue to serve as chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. Aside from Rabin, the Board will be made up of independent directors and members designated by both Tengram and GSO Capital Partners LP, another key player in the transaction.
 
Centric Brands will be listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol CTRC from around November 1, 2018, until which time it will continue to trade under its former symbol DFBG.
 
The purchase price for the acquisition was paid in cash.

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