WHP Global and Expr acquire Bonobos for $75 Million
Fashion apparel retailer Expr and global brand management firm WHP Global are set to acquire menswear brand Bonobos, Inc. from Walmart, for a combined purchase price of $75 million.
Bonobos was founded in 2007 and is recognized in the menswear category for product fit, customer experience and its innovative retail model. It was acquired by Walmart in 2017 and has delivered strong, consistent growth.
In particular, WHP Global will acquire the Bonobos brand for a purchase price of $50 million, while Expr will acquire the operating assets and assume the related liabilities of the Bonobos business for a purchase price of $25 million. The transaction is expected to close in Expr’s second fiscal quarter of 2023.
In December, WHP Global made a $260 million investment into the fashion retail chain Express to form a strategic partnership and an intellectual property joint venture. This is the first acquisition to be made jointly by the companies since finalizing their strategic partnership earlier this year.
“Our strategic roadmap to transform Expr to create shareholder value includes achieving profitable growth in our core Expr business – which is our first priority – optimizing our omnichannel platform, and accelerating our growth and profitability through our partnership with WHP Global,” said Tim Baxter, Expr chief executive officer.
“Bonobos is delivering double-digit sales growth and we plan to continue that momentum while also realizing operating synergies and other economies of scale. This is a compelling addition to our brand portfolio, and I expect the transaction will be accretive to operating income and free cash flow positive in fiscal 2023.”
Yehuda Shmidman, WHP global chairman and chief executive officer, added: ”Bonobos is an ideal first acquisition for our new partnership with Expr and will be a terrific addition to our fashion vertical. Post-closing, WHP Global’s portfolio will include more than 10 powerful consumer brands approaching $7 billion in total retail sales.”
As part of the transaction, Bonobos CEO John Hutchison will become brand president of Bonobos and report to Baxter after the transaction closes. Bonobos will remain at its current headquarters in New York.
“This is an exciting moment for Bonobos as we embark on the next phase of our growth. Born a digitally native vertical brand, we plan to build on our strength in eCommerce and customer loyalty, leverage Expr’s expertise in omnichannel retailing and scale through WHP Global’s partnerships in licensing and distribution,” said Hutchison.
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