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WHP Global Secures $150M to Fuel Joseph Abboud Growth

WHP Global has secured a $150 million equity commitment from Oaktree Capital Management, whose investment in the brand management firm now totals $350 million.

The infusion will help the company, which owns Anne Klein, and recently closed on its acquisition of Joseph Abboud, to drive growth for the Abboud brand with key partners like Tailored Brands, as well as allow for the addition of new global partnerships across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The new funds follow a prior $200 million commitment from Oaktree to help WHP fund its acquisitions and grow its brand management platform.

“WHP Global was established to acquire large-scale and well-known consumer brands with strong growth prospects in international and digital markets,” WHP chairman and CEO Yehuda Shmidman, said. “Succeeding in that mission is made possible through the tireless work of our team, our relationships with a broad network of business partners, and our partnership with Oaktree,”

Oaktree managing director and WHP board member Thomas Casarella said the increased commitment came as a result of its belief that the company is “strongly-positioned to take advantage of attractive acquisition opportunities in the market.”

Separately, WHP also received a $10 million investment from Platform Founder Group LLC. Platform is owned in part by Shmidman and WHP’s management team.

WHP launched last year when it acquired the Anne Klein brand in July. In January, the company inked a deal to acquire the Joseph Abboud brand for $115 million from Tailored Brands. The Abboud transaction was completed with financing provided by BlackRock. WHP is affiliated with Wave Hill Partners, the advisory practice founded by Shmidman, the former CEO of Sequential Brands Group, a firm also in the brand management space.

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The brand management firm last month signed a multi-licensing agreement with Amiee Lynn Inc. for the manufacture and distribution of accessories for the Anne Klein brand. The new product line, which is expected to be available in department stores, e-commerce channels and specialty retailers across the U.S. and Canada for fall 2020, will include cold weather goods, hats, belts and hair accessories.

“In less than a year, we have expanded Anne Klein’s global presence in key markets including China and Mexico, and added new categories including a line of women’s denim apparel,” Effy Zinking, WHP’s chief operating officer, said.

The Anne Klein brand currently generates more than $700 million in global retail sales. It already has a wide product offering through licensing in the footwear, handbags, sportswear, watches, outerwear, loungewear, jewelry and fragrance categories, among others. Together with the recently acquired Joseph Abboud brand, WHP’s two brands generate more than $1.4 billion in retail sales.