New York - Iconix
Brand Group has acquired the Sharper Image brand for approximately $65.6
The all-cash deal
with the joint venture that bought the chain in a bankruptcy auction in early
2008 for $49 million includes all intellectual properties, including licensing
The former parent
shuttered all of the chains remaining stores out of bankruptcy, liquidated $50
million in inventory and relaunched the brand with a global licensing strategy
for wholesale, direct-to-retail, e-commerce and catalog businesses.
parent, led by Gordon Brothers Group, Hilco Consumer Capital and Bluestar
Alliance, subsequently inked licensing deals with a number of consumer
electronics companies, and the brand badge can be found on accessories products
such as iPod docking stations and headphones from HoMedics and charging devices
from Tandy Brands, among others.
Iconix maintains a
large portfolio of licensed consumer product lines, including London Fog, Ocean
Pacific, Danskin, Roca Wear, Cannon, Royal Velvet and Fieldcrest.
"This is an
exciting acquisition for Iconix," commented Neil Cole, Iconix
chairman/CEO. "With the addition of the Sharper Image brand, we continue
to demonstrate the diversification of our business model and strength of our
company. We always believed that the Iconix platform could be leveraged across
numerous industries and this acquisition reinforces that message."
president/CEO of Gordon Brothers Group, issued a joint statement with Jeffrey
Hecktman, chairman/CEO of Hilco's parent, and Joey Gabbay, CEO of Bluesta:
"We are pleased to transition the stewardship of the Sharper Image brand
to Iconix, one of the premier global brand managers in the industry."
Sharper Image was
founded as a high-end lifestyle catalog by Richard Thalheimer in San Francisco
in 1977, who grew the business into a proprietary CE specialty chain of nearly
200 locations, mostly in indoor shopping malls. Thalheimer stepped down as
chairman and CEO in 2006 after a proxy battle with dissident investors. He was
succeeded by turnaround specialist Jerry Levin who was hired by the board to
help fix the company's operating issues. Levin took the company into bankruptcy
in February 2008.