Le Tigre brand bought by venture partners
Steve’s breakdown: The new owners are Infinity Lifestyle Brands and Hilco Brands and they are no joke. Just Hilco has investments in Halston, Haute Hippe, HMV Stores, Polaroid, Denby Pottery, Sharper Image, Ellen Tracy, Habitat, Linens ‘N Things, Tommy Armour Golf, Bombay Brands and more.
As joint venture partners, Infinity and Hilco Inc. (a unit of Hilco Global) have purchased all IP assets (trademarks, goodwill, domain names) and license agreements of Le Tigre branded apparel in a private sale which closed in August of this year. The brand was owned and operated by Kenneth Cole Productions which purchased the venerable label in 2007 and had successfully developed several licensing and distribution agreements with Bon Ton Stores, Inc. since that time.
Ike S. Franco, CEO of the Infinity Group said “Acquiring the Le Tigre brand is a fantastic addition to our current brand portfolio. The Le Tigre name is such a recognized and memorable label which we believe has significant growth potential and licensing opportunities globally.”
Jeffrey B. Hecktman, Chairman and CEO of Hilco Global said “The Le Tigre label has both intrinsic and potential brand value which is clearly underleveraged within the lifestyle apparel segment of the marketplace.” Both Hilco Brands and Infinity Lifestyle Brands are recognized brand turnaround specialists, together having restructured and revitalized many underleveraged consumer brands and retail companies including Polaroid, Altec Lansing, Miss America, The Sharper Image, Linens ‘n Things, and more.
Hecktman said “The unique team of retail brand experts that we’ve put together has a very deep understanding of the consumer retail marketplace and a successful track record of repositioning apparel brands and work in fashion merchandising and manufacturing businesses.” Mr. Franco indicated that as partners, the Infinity and Hilco team will seek to reinvigorate the iconic label and create a global presence, building new revenue streams through strategic initiatives such as brand licensing, launching new designs, expanding store within a store distribution and increased brand marketing.
The Le Tigre brand successfully became one of the most recognized apparel icons for several decades, with a range of designs which all carried the “leaping tiger” logo. The brand was popularized by celebrities like Wilt Chamberlain, LL Cool J and others. The brand was originally launched in New York in 1977 and then re-emerged in 2003, after being out of production through the 1990s.
Currently, several department stores maintain a license to distribute the brand and will continue to market it throughout the United States. The brand also has partnered with leading companies in Mexico and South America for the launch of new stand-alone stores and brand licensing in their respective countries.
About Infinity Group: The Infinity Group (www.infinity-group.com) is a leading, privately-owned business and investment holding company. The Group owns and manages a portfolio of operating businesses and investment ventures in real estate, consumer products, and retail-targeted brands. Infinity’s core activities are focused on the acquisition and redevelopment of retail real estate assets; the repositioning of consumer brands leveraging synergies with Infinity’s private manufacturing businesses as well as its marketing and distribution channels; and, select strategic investments in undervalued public/private companies and securities. The Infinity Group operates these businesses and projects through its three independent operating units: Infinity Real Estate, Infinity Lifestyle Brands, and Infinity Equity Ventures. Infinity Lifestyle Brands is the Infinity Group’s consumer products and brand management platform which specializes in the acquisition and repositioning of underutilized or dormant consumer brands with high awareness value. Notable proprietary brands include Yankees Global Enterprise, Bugle Boy and Altec Lansing. Other Infinity brands include Starter Athletic, XOXO, and the home products brands of the Pillowtex Mills Corporation. Infinity Lifestyle has led or has actively participated in brand repositioning ventures that have generated and distributed in excess of $400 million in investor profits.
About Hilco Global: Hilco Global (www.hilcoglobal.com) is an independent and diversified financial services company and the world’s preeminent authority on maximizing the value of assets for both healthy and distressed companies. Hilco Global operates as the holding company comprised of twenty specialized business units that work to help companies understand the value of their assets and then monetize that value. Often, Hilco Global acts as an advisor to provide consultative services in all aspects of the asset management process. For over 28 years acting as a principal or agent, Hilco Global has a successful track record of delivering the best possible result by aligning interests with clients and providing them strategic insight, advice, and, in many instances, the capital required to complete the deal. Hilco Global has made successful strategic investments in iconic brand names and high-profile consumer companies, including Halston, Haute Hippe, HMV Stores, Polaroid, Denby Pottery, Sharper Image, Ellen Tracy, Habitat, Linens ‘N Things, Tommy Armour Golf, Bombay Brands and more.
Gary C. Epstein EVP Chief Marketing Officer Hilco Global 1 847 418 2712