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License to sell: Authentic Brands Group files for an estimated $1.5 billion IPO

July 6, 2021

Authentic Brands Group, which owns and licenses various consumer lifestyle brands, filed on Tuesday with the SEC to raise up to $100 million. However, the deal size is likely a placeholder for an IPO we estimate could raise $1.5 billion.

Backed by BlackRock, Leonard Green and Partners, and General Atlantic, Authentic's portfolio of 32+ fully- and partly-owned lifestyle brands include Eddie Bauer, Aeropostale, Frye, Nautica, Nine West, Brooks Brothers, Lucky, Forever21, Spyder, Prince, Volcom, Barneys, Juicy Couture, and Airwalk, among others. Its entertainment brands include licensing rights for Sports Illustrated, Shaquille O'Neal, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Muhammad Ali. 

The acquisitive company highlights its asset-light model, with consistent 70%+ EBITDA margins, where its 800+ licensee partners sign long-term contracts and bear responsibility for the capital, manufacturing, inventory, markdowns, and distribution involved with selling branded consumer products.

The New York, NY-based company was founded in 2010 and booked $529 million in sales for the 12 months ended March 31, 2021. It plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol AUTH. Authentic Brands Group filed confidentially on May 11, 2021. It had been on our Private Company Watchlist since November 2015. BofA Securities, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, UBS Investment Bank, Wells Fargo Securities, Cowen, Guggenheim Securities, and KeyBanc Capital Markets are the joint bookrunners on the deal. No pricing terms were disclosed.