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BUSINESS

M&A & Partnerships: September 2019

We break down this week’s must-know news in mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships. Contact the Editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com.

Direct contact information is made available through TLL’s Licensing Sourcebook Online (subscription required).

Loot Crate files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid reports that the company owes over $30 million in trade debt to its business partners. While it’s a relatively small sum owed, the LA Times identified the company’s failure to hit critical mass with its subscription box concept as a key reason for Loot Crate’s money problems over the past year. Following its bankruptcy filing, the company’s credit card processor is also withholding customer billing, apparently denying it $20 million in sales. According to that filing, Loot Crate has racked up liabilities of $50–100 million and currently holds assets of $10–50 million. The company’s biggest creditors include:

Chris Davis will continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer while Loot Crate seeks a buyer; he has stated that daily operations will continue as normal. Loot Crate laid off all of its roughly 150 warehouse employees in May; in the week preceding its bankruptcy filing, the geek culture company fired 50 employees.

At its height in 2016, Loot Crate was considered one of the fastest growing subscription-based startups, with 650,000 subscribers paying $20 per month for apparel and collectibles, per the LA Times. In 2017, the company fired 60 employees; at the time, Davis claimed the company had overextended itself.

Strategic Investments

BlackRock makes a strategic investment of $875 million in Authentic Brands Group (ABG) through its Long Term Private Capital (LTPC) fund. Now ABG’s largest investor, the money manager will work closely alongside ABG’s top brass as the brand management company embarks on its next phase of expansion. ABG’s portfolio of over 50 brands generates close to $10 billion in annual worldwide revenue in more than 70 countries.

Play Ball

FanDuel Group and Major League Baseball (MLB) strike a multi-year partnership designating FanDuel as an Authorized Gaming Operator of MLB. The deal provides FanDuel access to official MLB data, along with league and team marks and logos, across FanDuel’s online sports betting products and retail sportsbook locations.

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