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Marquee Brands acquires leading maternity brands

Dec '19
Pic: Marquee Brands / Martha Stewart
Pic: Marquee Brands / Martha Stewart
Marquee Brands LLC, a leading global brand owner, marketing and media company owned by investor funds managed by Neuberger Berman, has emerged as successful bidder to acquire intellectual property, e-commerce business and other assets of Destination Maternity Corp, including its trademarks Motherhood Maternity, A Pea In The Pod and Destination Maternity.

Through this acquisition, Marquee Brands will diversify its Women’s Fashion division and add scale to its directly managed e-commerce platform. Marquee Brands currently operates across Women’s Fashion, Men’s Fashion, Active & Outdoor and Home & Food divisions.

With a heritage dating back to 1982, Motherhood Maternity and A Pea In The Pod are the pre-eminent brands in maternity and nursing apparel, accessories and equipment, and a trusted resource for generations of women during a pivotal moment in their lives. The portfolio of brands commands the largest share of the US maternity market and is recognised as the leader in maternity fashion and product innovation.

“Motherhood Maternity and A Pea In The Pod have been embraced by women for decades because of their commitment to innovation and focus on customer needs. We will continue to build on the brands’ legacy in a business model focused on e-commerce, select wholesale partnerships and strategic marketing relationships,” said David Zolot, principal of Neuberger Berman. “This transaction is representative of Marquee’s ability to acquire market-leading brands that have become challenged in the current retail environment and evolve their business model to create value for our investors.”

Marquee Brands is evaluating all aspects of the current business, including its network of retail stores, but intends to transform the business model to better compete in the digital age, focused on building an engaged online community of new and expecting mothers and developing rich content to support their journeys. Marquee Brands is working with a consortium of best-in-class partners to deliver technical and fashion-forward maternity apparel collections to consumers. Marquee Brands also intends to embrace existing and new strategic marketing partnerships with prominent third parties who offer a complementary product or service to its customers and help them navigate the next stage of motherhood, the company said in a press release.

“At Marquee Brands, we have established a successful formula of targeting brands with a devoted customer base and a true need to exist. There are few brands that better fit our model than the Destination Maternity portfolio. Its young, affluent and highly educated consumer is the most sought-after market segment and we plan to apply our playbook to further elevate her experience,” said Michael DeVirgilio, president of Marquee Brands.

“She is shopping from the comfort of her home and relying on these brands to deliver a consistent product that meets her unique needs. The portfolio’s online direct-to-consumer business accounts for a significant portion of the current sales volume and boasts industry-leading engagement and conversion metrics. This is an incredible digital platform that will benefit from Marquee’s focused investment and dynamic e-commerce, social media and creative services infrastructure. We look forward to working closely with Destination Maternity’s talented team to execute on our collective vision,” De Virgilio added.

The sale is subject to final approval by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the district of Delaware at a hearing scheduled on December 12, 2019, and the customary closing conditions set forth in the purchase agreement. The transaction is expected to close by December 20, 2019.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (RKS)

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