Bluestar Alliance is set to close an acquisition from Ascena Retail Group for their Justice brand after winning a bankruptcy auction for the tween brand.
Bluestar, which owns brands like Bebe, Tahari, Brookstone, Limited Too and Nanette Lepore, won the Justice brand with a cash bid of $71M, ultimately valuing the brand at $90M when including the intellectual property, certain related assets and the assumption of certain liabilities.
“Justice is the world’s best-known tween brand, yet it still has the capacity to grow, particularly in categories and distribution,” says Ralph Gindi, co-founder, Bluestar Alliance. “Our goal is to create even deeper connections with our consumers and the brand, while expanding Justice’s reach and footprint. Our future retailer partner will appreciate the heritage of the brand, and truly commit to servicing the Justice customer.”
The winning bid from Bluestar ended up being more than $10M more than its original stalking horse bid. Justice’s runner-up bidder was WHP Global, owner of brands like Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud.
“Bluestar has continued to grow and strategically build its portfolio,” adds Joseph Gabbay, chief executive officer, Bluestar Alliance. “Today we are a premiere brand management and marketing company, and Justice is an important asset with years of growth ahead. An icon of tween culture, with its influence felt across fashion, lifestyle, pop culture and more, we see opportunity for global brand extensions and partnerships.”
A hearing to seek court approval is set for Nov. 12. The transaction is expected to close before the end of this month.
The deal for the Justice brand comes following Bluestar’s purchase of the Hurley brand last year. Bluestar acquired Hurley from Nike in October 2019.