The US-based Authentic Brands Group (ABG) has emerged as the frontrunner to win the battle for Ted Baker and is being advised by Bank of America on a £300m deal.

Ted Baker New York

ABG could sign a deal of formal exclusivity for Ted Baker in the coming weeks

ABG, which owns Rebook, Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers, has emerged as the preferred bidder for Ted Baker and is willing to bid £300m to get the deal over the line, Sky News has reported. 

The group is reportedly being advised on the bid by Bank of America and could sign a deal of formal exclusivity within weeks. 

Should it acquire Ted Baker, the fashion retailer would go into the privately owned firm’s eclectic stable that includes Sports Illustrated, brands associated with Muhammad Ali and Marilyn Monroe, and fashion labels such as Juicy Couture.

ABG is run by American billionaire Jamie Salter and was recently valued at nearly $13bn (£10.3bn) after selling “significant equity stakes” to CVC Capital Partners – the Six Nations Rugby shareholder – and HPS Investment Partners.

It reportedly sold a controlling stake in the business to BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, for $870m (£688m) in late 2019. 

Ted Baker would be ABG’s highest profile foray into British retail, having previosuly missed out to Asos on a joint-bid for Topshop with JD Sports. 

American-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners fired the starting gun on the bidding race for Ted Baker but subsequently pulled out. 

Last week, the retailer reported a positive set of financial results as sales jumped and losses narrowed. Chief executive Rachel Osborne said she was optimistic about the brand’s future. 

She said: “We continue to make good progress against our transformation plan, helping us deliver strong sales momentum through the year as we focus on driving Ted Baker’s growth as a global lifestyle brand.

“That momentum has continued into the new year, supported by a steady return to the office and social events. While we remain mindful of what is a challenging macro environment, we are well-positioned for growth.”

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