The famous footie who inspired the 2002 Keira Knightley rom-com “Bend it Like Beckham” could soon be in bed with Jamie Salter’s brand management behemoth.
British football icon and style savant David Beckham is reportedly in talks to sell the majority stake he and his designer wife Victoria Beckham control in his DB Ventures to Juicy Couture owner Authentic Brands Group. The brand house could pay 200 million pounds ($270.3 million) to take around 55 percent of the company, The Mail and The Times reported.
A deal, if it comes to fruition, would mark New York-based ABG’s first new acquisition since it scrapped plans to go public and instead hammered out a private-equity deal pegging its value at $10 billion. Executives at ABG, which will soon officially own Reebok, declined to comment.
Staying private gives the deal-hungry Salter a lot more flexibility, shielding ABG, which operates 20-plus owned and licensed fashion, lifestyle and entertainment brands, from the Wall Street scrutiny that comes with trading on the public markets.
Perpetually looking near and far for attractive targets, Salter has amassed a stable of brands including Marilyn Monroe, Sports Illustrated, Shaquille O’Neal, Barneys New York and Muhammad Ali. Authentic Brands also holds non-controlling stakes in retailers and brands including Forever 21, Aéropostale, Nautica, Lucky Brand, Brooks Brothers, Eddie Bauer and JCPenney through a joint venture with Simon Property Group called SPARC that cranks out about $10 billion in net sales each year.
Beckham set up DB Ventures when he retired from professional soccer in the U.K. In recent months, the firm was said to be looking for a growth-minded investor. In 2019, the former athlete paid 38 million pounds ($50 million) to buy back the 33 percent stake held by former business partner Simon Fuller, the “American Idol” mastermind.