Local ShoppingB. Riley acquires equity interest in Scotch & Soda through Bluestar

B. Riley acquires equity interest in Scotch & Soda through Bluestar

Dive Brief:

  • B. Riley Financial is acquiring an equity interest in Scotch & Soda, according to a press release.
  • Brand management company Bluestar acquired Scotch & Soda earlier this year, after the Netherlands-based fashion mark filed for bankruptcy.
  • Earlier this month, Bluestar announced its affiliate acquisition of Scotch & Soda’s U.S.-based wholesale and retail business, along with the appointment of Anthony Lucia as global president of its Scotch & Soda USA and global business operations.

Dive Insight:

B. Riley declined to offer financial details. However, the company invested $116.5 million dollars in 2019 to acquire majority ownership from Bluestar of six fashion brands, including Catherine Malandrino, English Laundry, Joan Vass, Kensie Girl, Limited Too and Nanette Lepore.

This arrangement further solidifies the alliance between B. Riley and Bluestar Alliance. Previous deals between the two companies included B. Riley’s participation in Bluestar’s acquisitions of Hurley in November 2019 and Justice in December 2020.

In an email, a spokesperson from B. Riley said the firm has established a long-standing partnership with Bluestar dating back to 2019 and has acted as a financial partner to Bluestar in its brand acquisition strategy. “We established our brands portfolio in Oct 2019 through an investment in its acquisition of six brands, and then participated as a financial partner in Bluestar’s acquisition of Hurley from Nike in Nov 2019,” the spokesperson said. “We expanded our portfolio in Dec 2020 by participating in Bluestar’s acquisition of Justice from Ascena. Scotch & Soda represents our latest co-investment as a financial partner to Bluestar; Bluestar will maintain management of the brand licensing and distribution strategy.”

In the statement about its equity interest, Bryant Riley, chair and co-CEO of B. Riley said, “This investment builds on the success of our long-standing relationship with Bluestar and enhances our existing brands business.” He said his firm planned “to pursue additional opportunities to enhance this business in line with our stated strategy to expand and diversify our sources of steady and recurring earnings.”

B. Riley was also part of the deal to acquire the assets and intellectual property to New York luxury retailer Barneys New York in 2019. That arrangement, which involved investment firm Brigade Capital Management and Authentic Brands Group, was worth approximately $271 million.

Bluestar, which was founded in 2006, also owns fashion and retail brands including Tahari, Bebe and Brookstone, and said its current combined retail sales exceed $6 billion.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from B. Riley.

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