Brand Sense Partners announced the launch of a $150 million investment vehicle that is focused on acquiring and incubating intellectual property assets. As a well-established leader in licensing and brand management, bsp has a long and successful track record of assisting brand owners to manage their intellectual property more effectively and profitably. By coupling those skills with dedicated capital to acquire and develop brands, bsp will reinforce its position as the leading full service manager of intellectual property.
"Our acquisition strategy focuses on identifying dormant, nostalgic and operationally challenged brands that will benefit from our ability to re-engineer their business models and increase profitability," said Ramez Toubassy, president of bsp. "When appropriate, we will also be looking to put capital to work to help get our client initiatives off the ground more quickly and in a much bigger way."
bsp closed its first acquisition late last year when it purchased the 20 year-old Shabby Chic home furnishings and home decor brand. Under its stewardship, bsp has secured two new licensees who have launched more affordable lines of furniture that are currently available nationwide, reestablished three flagship retail stores in Los Angeles, New York and London, and extended the brand into stationery, fabric and other related products. bsp is also in conversations with several international retailers about direct-to-retail programs that will quickly establish a foothold from which to expand the brand's reach globally.
"bsp is at the head of the class in strategically building big, brand-based businesses," said Rachel Ashwell, founder of Shabby Chic and bsp's partner in relaunching the brand. "The care they took with the brand, coupled with their willingness to roll up their sleeves and create real operational value made them the perfect company to take Shabby Chic into its next 20 years. When looking for a new equity partner, we spoke with many investors and licensing companies but ultimately chose bsp because of their uniquely deep experience and knowledge around maximizing the value of IP."
bsp is also investing capital in developing and launching new intellectual property of its own. The first such initiative is the launch of Penny Stock, a new menswear line that combines a classic look with modern styling and fits. Inspired by the iconic Penny Loafer and reflecting a pricing structure that is consistent with these more frugal times, each product is distinguished by its patented U.S. Penny Pocket. Penny Stock products will be available this summer at Urban Outfitters and other high-end boutiques nationwide and internationally and will be supported by an innovative integrated marketing and promotional campaign.
In parallel with this expanded focus, bsp continues to deliver top notch licensing consulting and agency services to major brand owners. In the past several months bsp has signed many high profile clients including the critically acclaimed Mad Men television series, the ubiquitous heart healthy brand Smart Balance, and the national premium housewares retailer Sur La Table.