Fashion apparel retailer Express has completed its previously announced transaction with turnaround company WHP Global.
With the transaction, WHP Global invested $260 million in the business, acquiring 7.4% of the business for $25 million and 60% of an intellectual property joint venture for $235 million, the companies said. companies in a press release on Wednesday 25 January.
“As our team continues to focus on returning the core Express business to growth and profitability and advancing our EXPRESSway Forward strategy, our partnership with WHP Global will enable us to achieve greater scale through non-core domestic licensing opportunities and international expansion,” Express CEO Tim Baxter said in the release.
As PYMNTS reported in December, WHP Global owns and operates brands with combined retail sales of $4.5 billion, focusing on those with “legacy traits.”
The turnaround company owns a number of companies, including Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Anne Klein, Isaac Mizrahi, Joseph Abboud, Lotto, Joe’s Jeans and William Rast.
News of the then-planned and now completed partnership between WHP Global and Express came the same day the fashion apparel retailer released quarterly earnings figures that showed comparable sales down 8% and down 17% of e-commerce demand.
“The third quarter was tougher than expected and that’s reflected in our results,” Baxter said in the Dec. 8 earnings report. “The macroeconomic, consumer and competitive environments were extremely challenging and worsened as the quarter progressed.”
With the gross proceeds from the transaction now complete, Express will repay a loan, invest in its omnichannel platform and pursue acquisitions of other brands with WHP Global, Baxter said in Wednesday’s press release.
Additionally, WHP Global co-founder, president and CEO Yehuda Shmidman has been appointed as a Class II Director of Express, effective Wednesday, according to the press release.
“I am delighted to welcome Yehuda to the Express, Inc. Board of Directors and hope that his extensive experience in brand management will be of great value to our company,” said Chairman of the Board. of directors of Express, Mylle H. Mangum.