Authentic Brands Group Acquires Airwalk and Others From Payless Holdings
Authentic Brands Group, LLC and Payless Holdings LLC announced that ABG has finalized the purchase of certain assets of Collective Licensing International, LLC, Lifestyle Brands Corporation, and Collective Brands Cooperatief U.A. (collectively CLI). The asset purchase includes several youth lifestyle, athletic, and board-sports inspired brands, including Airwalk, Hind, Vision Street Wear, and Above The Rim.
"Airwalk has built a loyal following through shaping and influencing the progression of the action sports community and industry," said Jamie Salter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Authentic Brands Group. "Airwalk's history is filled with stories about people pushing innovation, supporting the athletic scene, and taking creative risks, all fueled by a passion for athletes and action sports this is exactly the kind of attitude and passion that makes Airwalk a great fit for the ABG portfolio."
Founded in 1986 in Carlsbad, California, Airwalk has developed into a globally recognized brand responsible for the design of performance and lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories sold in 100 countries around the globe. As part of the agreement, Payless will retain the right to market and sell Airwalk-branded products in its company-owned and franchise stores, and through ecommerce.
"Airwalk is a very popular and successful brand at Payless around the world," said W. Paul Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Payless Holdings. "We are excited to continue to offer one of the most authentic youth lifestyle brands in the marketplace to our Payless customers."
"The Airwalk, Vision, Hind and Above The Rim brands each resonate with the younger customer who is searching for authentic ties to sports culture," said Nick Woodhouse, President and Chief Marketing Officer of Authentic Brands Group. "We are convinced that there is an incredible opportunity to grow each of these brands and re-connect consumers with them in a powerful way."
The Vision Street Wear, Hind, and Above The Rim brands focus on youth, activity and American sports culture. Each brand will continue to work with its existing licensees on expanding its US presence and product offering. ABG will move forward with a strategic plan to grow each brand's business internationally.