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Authentic Brands Group Files For $10 Billion IPO

Authentic Brands Group has filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that values the global licensing giant at $10 billion. ABG owns several fashion and sports brands around the world, and has now filed papers stating its intention to sell $100 million worth of stock at a valuation of roughly $10 billion. However, the number of shares to be offered is likely just a benchmark, required by the New York Stock Exchange, and will probably change prior to the IPO. ABG was founded in 2010 by Jamie Salter, and has grown rapidly to become a behemoth in the global branding and licensing industry. The company now has a portfolio of more than 30 top apparel, sports, and celebrity brands that jointly generate more than $14 billion in retail sales. The… . . . read more

MDR Launches Global eSports, Interactive Entertainment Division

MDR Brand Management this week launched a global esports and interactive entertainment division called NIVO Management. NIVO operates as a standalone business, but the new division will benefit from the international footprint of MDR Brand Management, the company says. MDR now operates in 25 locations around the world. The company says NIVO Management is currently working on three strategic platforms. They represent elite professionals in contract negotiations; develop bespoke strategies to maximise brand opportunities, including sponsorship and endorsement deals; and provide holistic management support, utilizing an extensive network of specialist advisors, from nutritionists and performance coaches to private client and legal expertise. MDR says it created NIVO due to the growing demand for player-centric management that is transparent, and free from conflicts of interest. NIVO represents players across a wide portfolio… . . . read more

IMG Expands With Middle East Acquisition

IMG, a global leader licensing for sports, events, fashion and media, has acquired the Dubai-based 20too Licensing agency to further expand its global reach. The company manages some of the world’s greatest athletes and fashion icons; owns and operates hundreds of live events annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. Named the world’s top licensing agency by License Global, IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company. 20too is also a successful concern in the MENA region (Middle East, North Africa), working with some of the world’s top brands such as NBCUniversal, Hasbro, The Smurfs, Sega, Smiley, the Discovery portfolio of brands such as Fatafeat, Food Network, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, and more. “This is an exciting… . . . read more

Iconix Plans To Go Private After Controversial Acquisition Deal

Iconix Brand Group, Inc., which owns several well known brands such as Joe Boxer, Buffalo Jeans, Mossimo and London Fog, among several others, will become a private company after the board accepted an acquisition offer from Lancer Capital LLC. However, two major law firms have announced they are launching investigations into the deal on behalf of shareholders, with one saying the price tag is well under the true value of the company. Iconix has been trading on Nasdaq under the symbol ICON, but said in a statement it has entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger to be acquired by Iconix Acquisition Corp., an affiliate of Lancer Capital, LLC (“Purchaser”), in an all-cash transaction that values Iconix at approximately $585 million, including net-debt. “Today’s announcement represents the culmination of… . . . read more

Merged WarnerMedia/Discovery Rebranded

Two weeks after the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, the new company’s CEO David Zaslav has revealed the streaming service will now be known as Warner Bros. Discovery, tipping the hat to the history of both parties. Zaslav unveiled the new name and a new logo to staff (pictured), and also worked in a tagline for the new entity, borrowing the line “The stuff that dreams are made of” from the classic Warner movie The Maltese Falcon. “Warner Bros. Discovery will aspire to be the most innovative, exciting and fun place to tell stories in the world—that is what the company will be about,” Zaslav said. “We love the new company’s name because it represents the combination of Warner Bros.’ fabled hundred year legacy of creative, authentic storytelling and taking bold risks to bring the… . . . read more

Amazon Shakes Up Streaming With MGM Acquisition

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief MGM’s roaring lion is now purring happily in the Amazon stable, after the eCommerce giant acquired the historic film studio in a critical, $8.45 billion deal. That sum makes the MGM acquisition the second largest in Amazon’s history, but Jeff Bezos and crew are betting their investment will pay off as part of the company’s strategy to become a giant in the world of home and theatrical entertainment. Amazon’s only investment larger than the MGM acquisition was the buyout of the Whole Foods grocery chain for $14 billion in 2017. Like the Whole Foods deal, adding the MGM label to Amazon’s corporate empire was done due to synergies in the business model. Amazon is investing heavily in making its Prime streaming video service… . . . read more

Who’s News: Stephanie Kupperman Launches Licensing Agency

Stephanie Kupperman, named a “rising star” of the industry by Licensing International, is now running her own agency called Licensing 360. “Licensing 360 is a full-service merchandise licensing agency, specializing in extending entertainment brands into powerful worldwide consumer product programs,” said Kupperman. “The agency’s goal is to offer brands a tailored, individualized approach to licensing that delivers fan-first merchandise. I believe all brand partnerships must start with the fans and build from the ground up, not the other way around.” Kupperman is a global licensing expert with extensive experience in deal negotiations, product approvals, and legal due diligence. While at Creative Licensing, Stephanie oversaw the implementation of some of the company’s most successful brand partnerships with films such as, The Terminator, Rambo: First Blood and Halloween. In 2016, Stephanie was named… . . . read more

Amazon Bidding For Acquisition of MGM

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief US tech and e-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly negotiating a deal to buy out the iconic MGM film studio for roughly $9 billion, according to an original report by industry publication Variety. Amazon, which also owns one of the world’s largest streaming video services in Amazon Prime, is said to be several weeks into the talks, which are designed to give the company a leg up in the fierce streaming content wars. While MGM has reportedly been looking for an acquisition deal for some time, according to a December report in the Wall Street Journal, but now Variety sources say the smoke has turned into flames. Variety says sources have confirmed that Amazon Studios senior VP Mike Hopkins is in direct talks with… . . . read more

WarnerMedia Merges With Discovery in $43 Billion Deal

WarnerMedia and Discovery announced a bold move in the ongoing streaming wars that sees the two companies merging in a $43 billion that cedes majority control to Warner’s parent company AT&T. The resulting media conglomerate will act as a new, standalone company to be led by Discovery’s president and CEO David Zaslav. The agreement will see AT&T receiving the full purchase price and a 71% stake in the new entity, while Discovery will own the remaining 29%. The reason for the tactical merger is rooted in the intense competition for supremacy in the streaming video space, in which both Warner and Discovery are running their own horses in the race. Warner’s HBOMax was launched less than a year ago, and Discovery booted up its discovery+ service early in 2021, but… . . . read more

Eddie Bauer Being Acquired By Authentic Brands

Retail and consumer products giant Authentic Brands and its partially owned subsidiary SPARC Group have reached an agreement to buy the outdoor clothing chain Eddie Bauer in a deal expected to close June 1. Deal terms have not yet been disclosed. Authentic Brands Group LLC is a global force in retail with more than 6,000 outlets worldwide, generating roughly $14 billion in annual revenue. ABG is also a founding partner of SPARC Group, a global enterprise that designs, sources, manufactures, distributes and markets leading lifestyle brands. As the dedicated operating partner for Brooks Brothers, Nautica, Aéropostale, Forever 21 and Lucky Brand, SPARC supports 3,950-plus retail doors worldwide and approximately $7.2 billion in global retail sales annually. SPARC is co-owned in a partnership with Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in… . . . read more