BRISBANE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--bebe stores, inc. (OTCQB: BEBE) (the “Company”) announced today that it has partnered with Bluestar Alliance to acquire the Brookstone® brand and related assets. The acquisition closed on October 19, 2018.
Brookstone, the iconic American brand founded over 50 years ago in New Hampshire, is known for innovative and solution-oriented products, most notably in the entertainment, wellness, home, and travel categories. The acquisition opens the way for expanding the wholesale distribution of Brookstone products to some of the largest retailers in America and across the world. It also keeps open 30 Brookstone airport stores, retaining 350 jobs, which will serve as showcases for the Brookstone brand and products.
bebe stores and Bluestar have successfully worked together since 2016 when Bluestar acquired an interest in the bebe brand, trademarks, and intellectual property.
“Brookstone is a unique brand with strong growth potential," stated Manny Mashouf, CEO of bebe stores. "We are pleased to expand our already-successful relationship with Bluestar and can see the potential synergies with other brands in their portfolio. This investment, a direct result of our partnership with B. Riley Financial, which sourced the deal, will create a strong platform for future growth and enhance our ability to generate free cash flow to maximize our dividends to shareholders."
“We are pleased to continue to work closely with Bluestar,” said Nick Capuano, Chairman of bebe stores. “This investment represents our combined efforts to create value for bebe stores by expanding the scope of our operations, and we will continue to look for opportunities that leverage our tax assets and create value for our shareholders.”
"We are excited to begin renewing Brookstone’s innovation and its flow of new products to the market," stated Joseph Gabbay, CEO of Bluestar Alliance. “London Luxury is the brand’s first new licensee, known for its expertise in the bedding, home textile, and memory foam categories. We are thrilled to have London Luxury as our licensee partner as they exemplify the standard consumers expect from the Brookstone brand. We are also seeing strong interest from a myriad of prospective licensees as well as enthusiastic retail partners. Contracts with best-in-class manufacturers in key categories, including massage products, home environment, audio, and travel products, are already expected to close this week.”
As part of the acquisition, Apex Digital will operate the 30 airport stores, as well as Brookstone.com and e-commerce business.
About bebe stores, inc.
bebe is a global specialty retailer of women’s apparel and accessories that distributes and sells bebe branded product through its licensees and www.bebe.com in approximately 21 countries.
About Bluestar Alliance LLC
Founded by Joseph Gabbay and Ralph Gindi in 2006, Bluestar owns, manages, and markets a portfolio of consumer brands that span across many tiers of distribution from luxury to mass market. This portfolio consists of major department store retail brands including Tahari, bebe, Kensie, Catherine Malandrino, Nanette Lepore, Joan Vass, Michael Bastian, English Laundry and Limited Too.
The firm’s investment mandate is to identify and purchase consumer brand companies where it can leverage the brand equity and expand its current categories to a broader consumer base. To facilitate the overall strategy Bluestar relies on its branding/marketing knowledge, extensive relationships with retail management, strategic partnerships and brand licensing manufacturing entities.
Each brand is uniquely positioned maintaining the brand heritage and equity, considering new categories and current tiers of distribution. Bluestar’s current network of international and domestic partners offers the opportunity to take a niche brand to a visible worldwide lifestyle brand. Since its inception, Bluestar has acquired select brands with current retail sales exceeding $2.5 billion. The company manages a current portfolio of over 250 licensees and a growing branded retail platform of over 100 stores worldwide throughout North America, Europe, Australia, South America, Asia, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, India and Russia.