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Simon Property, Authentic Brands to buy outdoor gear label Eddie Bauer

(Reuters) – Top U.S. mall owner Simon Property Group Inc and Authentic Brands Group LLC have agreed to buy Eddie Bauer, adding the outdoor gear and apparel retailer to a brand marquee housing Aéropostale, Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers.

Authentic and SPARC Group LLC, a venture backed by brand manager Authentic and Simon, are buying Eddie Bauer from a unit of Golden Gate Capital 12 years after the private equity firm acquired the outdoor lifestyle gear maker out of bankruptcy.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Authentic Brands said it will own the clothing brand’s intellectual property and Eddie Bauer will become a part of SPARC’s portfolio of brands following the deal’s expected close by June.

Eddie Bauer has 300 stores across the United States and Canada, but nearly half of its retail sales last year came through e-commerce as COVID-19 accelerated a shift to online shopping.

“The global outdoor market opportunity has grown exponentially over the last year and we are ready to hit the ground running,” said Authentic Brands Chief Executive Officer Jamie Salter.

Eddie Bauer is expected to diversify ABG’s portfolio of brands which include entertainment, media and fashion.

The brand will remain headquartered in Seattle under current President Damien Huang.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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