Fashion Retailer Express Inks Deal With WHP

Fashion apparel retailer Express has completed a previously announced deal with refurbishment firm WHP Global.

The transaction saw WHP Global invest $260 million in the company, acquiring 7.4% of the company for $25 million and 60% of the intellectual property joint venture for $235 million, the companies said. said in a press release on Wednesday (January 25).

“Our team remains focused on returning our core express business to growth and profitability and driving our EXPRESSway Forward strategy, and our partnership with WHP Global will open up non-core domestic licensing opportunities. And through international expansion, we can achieve even greater scale,” CEO Tim Baxter said in a release.

As PYMNTS reported in December, WHP Global owns and manages brands with combined retail sales of $4.5 billion, focused on brands with “traditional personality traits.”

The refurbishment company owns Toys R Us, Baby the Earl’s, Ann Klein, Isaac Mizrahi, Joseph Abboud, Roto, Joe’s Jeans, William Last and many others.

The news of the then-planned partnership between WHP Global and Express coming to an end came the same day the fashion apparel retailer announced its quarterly earnings, with comparable sales down 8%. It shows a 17% drop in e-commerce demand.

“The third quarter was tougher than expected, and that is reflected in our results,” Baxter said in its December 8 earnings call. “The macroeconomic, consumer and competitive environment has been very challenging and has become more acute as the quarter progressed.”

Baxter said in a press release Wednesday that with the total proceeds from the now-completed transaction, Express will repay loans, invest in its omnichannel platform and pursue acquisitions of other brands at WHP Global.

Additionally, WHP Global co-founder, chairman and CEO Yehuda Shmidman was appointed as Class II Director of Express as of Wednesday, according to a press release.

“We are delighted to welcome Yehuda to the Board of Directors of Express, Inc. We expect his extensive experience in brand management to be of great value to our company.”

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