WHP Global invests $260 million into Express
WHP Global has invested a total of $260 million into the fashion retail chain Express, Inc. to form a strategic partnership and an intellectual property joint venture.
As part of the deal, WHP will invest $235 million for its stake in the intellectual property joint venture. As a result, it will be 60% owned by WHP and 40% owned by the Express platform company.
WHP will also make a common equity PIPE investment to acquire 5.4 million newly issued shares of Express at $4.60 per share, representing an approximate ownership of 7.4%.
The investment will allow Express to scale through new domestic category licensing and international expansion opportunities, as well as advance an omnichannel platform, which is expected to drive accelerated, long-term growth through the acquisition and operation of a portfolio of brands.
"Our 'Expressway Forward' strategy has reinvigorated our brand and rebuilt the foundation of our company, paving the way for this bold next chapter in our transformation," said Tim Baxter, chief executive officer at Express.
"Our partnership with WHP will drive greater scale and profitability of the Express brand through their category licensing and international expertise and strengthen our balance sheet. We expect to accelerate our growth by acquiring multiple brands in partnership with WHP and operating them on our platform. Both of these are expected to drive shareholder value.”
The transaction is expected to close in Express’ fourth quarter of 2022, subject to approvals.
The existing Express, Inc. management team and board of directors will continue to lead the company with Baxter serving as a director and CEO, and Mylle Mangum serving as chairman of the Express, Inc. Board of Directors. Upon completion of the transaction, the Express, Inc. board will be expanded to include Shmidman.
"The global growth potential of the Express brand and the EXPR omnichannel platform will give our company a distinct competitive edge as we look to acquire more consumer brands," added Yehuda Shmidman, WHP global chairman and chief executive officer.
"We are excited to partner with Tim and his management team and view this partnership as a huge win for both of our companies."
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