By Soma Biswas
A venture backed by apparel-licensing firm Authentic Brands Group LLC and mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209746667/composite SPG -2.05% has agreed to buy Brooks Brothers Inc. for $325 million.
The proposed purchase of America’s oldest apparel company, which requires bankruptcy court approval, includes a commitment to keep 125 Brooks Brothers stores open. The retailer has roughly 200 stores in North America.
Sparc Group LLC, the Authentic Brands-Simon venture, had initially bid $305 million for Brooks Brothers. The bankrupt retailer had selected that offer as the lead, or stalking horse, bid for its assets at a planned bankruptcy auction. But the deadline for rival offers passed last week, and no auction was held.
Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy last month after more than two centuries in business, unable to withstand store closures because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company has struggled in recent years with a shift toward more casual dress styles at work.
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