Financial News

  • 16 January 2013, 8:23

Power Rangers Owner Eyes Bid For Lee Cooper

The new private equity partner of Topshop and the owner of the Power Rangers are among the bidders vying for control of Lee Cooper, the clothing brand.

I understand that Authentic Brands Group, a company backed by investment firm Leonard Green & Partners, and Saban Brands, have lodged initial bids for Lee Cooper, which is being sold by the private equity firm Sun European Partners.

Authentic calls itself a brand development and licensing company and includes the Prince tennis brand and Marilyn Monroe clothing in its portfolio. Its investors include Leonard Green, which last month acquired a 25% stake in Topshop and Topman from the billionaire retailer Sir Philip Green in a deal valuing the chains at 2bn.

Saban Brands is headed by Haim Saban, the businessman who made part of his fortune from the creation of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and is now a prominent dealmaker in the global media industry.

The portfolio of Saban Brands focuses on digital and entertainment franchises such as Digimon and Popples.

Sun bought the Lee Cooper brand, known for its denim products but which no longer manufactures products, in 2005.

It bought Lee Cooper for 30.5m in partnership with The 180 Group and Emerisque Capital, two other investment firms.

Iconix, which recently bought the football kit brand Umbro, is also understood to have signalled its appetite for a deal, which is likely to cost a buyer in the region of 40m, according to insiders.

DC Advisory Partners is handling the auction process on Sun's behalf.