Fashion retailer Express Inc. has a deal with WHP


Fashion apparel retailer Express has completed its previously announced business transaction with WHP Global.

In the transaction, WHP Global invested $260 million in the company, acquiring a 7.4% stake in the company for $25 million and a 60% intellectual property joint venture for $235 million, the companies said in a press release on Wednesday (Jan 25).

“Our partnership with WHP Global will allow us to excel in non-core domestic licensing opportunities and international expansion as our team continues its strong focus on returning the core Express business to growth and profitability and advancing our Expressway Forward strategy,” CEO Tim Buster said in the release.

As PYMNTS reported in December, WHP Global owns and manages brands with $4.5 billion in retail sales.

The turnaround firm owns several companies, including Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Anne Klein, Isaac Mizrahi, Joseph Abboud, Lotto, Joe’s Jeans and William Rast.

News of the then-planned and now-completed WHP Global and Express partnership came on the day the fashion apparel retailer released quarterly earnings figures that showed an 8% drop in comparable sales and a 17% drop in ecommerce demand.

“The third quarter was tougher than we anticipated and that was reflected in our results,” Baxter said in a Dec. 8 earnings report. “The macroeconomic, consumer and competitive environments were very challenging, and became more critical as the quarter progressed.”

With the gross proceeds from the now-completed transaction, Express will pay down debt, invest in an omnichannel platform and grow other brands through acquisitions from WHP Global, Baxter said in a press release Wednesday.

In addition, WHP Global founder, chairman and CEO Yuda Schmidtman has been appointed as director of Secondary Express, effective Wednesday, according to a press release.

Express Chairman of the Board Miley H. Mangum said: “Yehuda has joined Express, Inc. I am pleased to welcome him to the board of directors and anticipate that his extensive experience in brand management will be of great value to our company.”

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