Fashion apparel retailer Express’ (NYSE:EXPR) stock rose ~4% on Thursday after the company said it completed its transaction with brand management firm WHP Global.
The transaction advances the Express’ omnichannel platform which is expected to drive growth through the acquisition and operation of a portfolio of brands.
EXPR and WHP have also formed an intellectual property joint venture to scale the Express brand through new domestic category licensing and international expansion opportunities, the companies added.
WHP will acquire newly issued shares of EXPR at $4.60 apiece. WHP will make a $25M common equity PIPE investment to acquire 5.4M newly issued Express shares at $4.60 per share, representing a pro forma ownership of about 7.4%.
The joint venture is valued at ~$400M, with WHP committing $235M for 60% ownership and EXPR contributing certain intellectual property for the remaining 40% stake.
Express noted that the $260M in gross proceeds from WHP investment provides capital for EXPR to repay a $90M debt and fund the company’s first year guaranteed minimum royalties of $60M to the joint venture. The remaining funds will be used for reinvesting in the EXPR platform and potential future M&A opportunities.
In addition, Express said that Yehuda Shmidman was appointed as a board member. Shmidman is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of WHP Global.