Columbus, Ohio, and New York City — Parent company of fashion apparel retailer Express, Inc., EXPR, and global brand management firm, WHP Global have entered a definitive agreement to acquire menswear brand Bonobos, Inc. from Walmart Inc., for a combined $75 million. This is the first acquisition to be made jointly by WHP Global and EXPR since finalizing their strategic partnership earlier this year.
Bonobos, founded in 2007 and acquired by Walmart in 2017, distinguished itself in the menswear category based on product fit, customer experience and the innovative Guideshop retail model.
“Bonobos is delivering double-digit sales growth and we plan to continue that momentum while also realizing operating synergies and other economies of scale. This is a compelling addition to our brand portfolio, and I expect the transaction will be accretive to operating income and free cash flow positive in fiscal 2023,” says Tim Baxter, chief executive officer of EXPR.
The Bonobos team is led by CEO John Hutchison, who will become brand president of Bonobos and report to Baxter after the transaction closes. Bonobos will remain at its current headquarters in New York.
“Bonobos is an ideal first acquisition for our new partnership with EXPR and will be a terrific addition to our fashion vertical. Post-closing, WHP Global’s portfolio will include more than 10 powerful consumer brands approaching $7 billion in total retail sales,” says Yehuda Shmidman, WHP’s global chairman and chief executive officer.
Bonobos will be the third brand in the EXPR portfolio, joining Express and UpWest.
The transaction is expected to close in EXPR’s second fiscal quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions. Moelis & Company LLC is serving as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal advisor to EXPR on this transaction. Goodwin Procter LLP is serving as legal advisor to WHP Global.
EXPR is a fashion retail company whose business includes an omnichannel operating platform, physical and online stores, and a multi-brand portfolio that includes Express and UpWest. The Express brand launched in 1980. UpWest launched in 2019. The company has approximately 540 Express retail and Express Factory Outlet stores in the United States and Puerto Rico; and 13 UpWest retail stores. For more information, visit www.express.com/investors and www.express.com or www.upwest.com.
WHP Global is a leading New York-based firm that acquires global consumer brands and invests in high-growth distribution channels including digital commerce platforms and global expansion. WHP owns ANNE KLEIN®, JOSEPH ABBOUD®, JOE’S JEANS®, WILLIAM RAST®, ISAAC MIZRAHI®, LOTTO®, TOYS”R”US®, BABIES”R”US® and a 60% interest in the EXPRESS® brand. For more information, visit www.whp-global.com.
SOURCE: WHP Global and EXPR