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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 the United States.

The now-iconic Eddie Bauer company was founded by outdoorsman Eddie Bauer, who opened his first store (pictured above) in Seattle in 1920. Bauer patented the first quilted down jacket in 1940, as well as many other outdoor clothing designs, and as a result became the first company allowed to put its logo on Army uniforms. Bauer sold the company in 1968, and it later was purchased by General Mills in 1971, by Spiegel in 1988, and later became the only business unit that Spiegel kept when it entered bankruptcy in 2003. Spiegel then changed its name to Eddie Bauer Holdings in 2005, and continued to operate the retail chain until it was bought out by Golden Gate Capital in 2009.

The purchase of Eddie Bauer will add 300 stores to the AGB/SPARC Group business line, along with the company’s long-standing e-commerce business. At this point it appears Eddie Bauer will continue to be headquartered in the Seattle area, and will be run by its current president, Damien Huang.

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