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Consortium Saves More Aéropostale Stores and Jobs Than Expected

Aéropostale will live to dress another generation of American teens, with more than half of its U.S. store base intact.

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), General Growth Properties (GGP) and Simon Property Group (SPG) finalized their acquisition of the specialty retailer Thursday, announcing that Aéropostale will continue to be available in more than 700 retail doors worldwide: more than 400 in the U.S. and Canada; roughly 300 across Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

“We are pleased to be part of this consortium that has saved thousands of jobs and preserved a legendary American brand,” said David Simon, chairman and chief executive officer of Simon Property Group, one of the largest retail estate companies in the world. “We are encouraged by the tremendous amount of support we have received from employees, vendors and other landlords.”

The consortium, which also includes Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, was declared the highest bidder at a bankruptcy auction that ended earlier this month, with an offer worth $243.3 million in cash.

“This consortium brings a new approach to brand development and Aéropostale brings another facet to ABG’s fashion portfolio,” said Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO at ABG. “The purchase of Aéropostale propels the retail revenue driven by ABG’s brands to over $4.5 billion in retail sales worldwide. We look forward to working closely with our new partners, General Growth Properties and Simon Property Group to continue to grow the Aéropostale brand on a global scale.”

“Aéropostale has significant brand equity and the go-forward portfolio of stores generates more than $1 billion in global retail sales, over $800 million of which is from the U.S.,” continued Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of GGP. “The entity is financially secure and well capitalized and we are very pleased that thousands of jobs will be preserved.”

Aéropostale filed for bankruptcy protection in May. Most assumed the struggling teen retailer would be forced to shutter its 720 U.S. stores and liquidate the business to pay off its debts.