Singer-turned-designer Jessica Simpson refinanced her apparel company just six months after regaining full control of the $ 1 billion brand.
The former reality TV star scored a $ 67.5 million loan from Second Avenue Capital Partners – which is backed by the Schottenstein family, owner of American Eagles Outfitters and DSW – in a deal that pledges all the assets of The Jessica Simpson Collection, including its brand, as collateral, according to a source familiar with the deal.
Simpson, 41, and her mother, Tina – who owned 37.5% of the company launched 16 years ago – had bought back the remaining 62.5% for $ 65 million from licensing firm Sequential Brands Group, which filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2021. The duo pledged their personal assets, including their homes, to raise money for the acquisition, according to the source.
The new financing will be used to retire the old debt from First Eagle Alternative Credit and WhiteHawk Capital and to expand the popular brand, Second Avenue Capital Partners said in a statement.
“This is better debt on the company,” said the source.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the source said the financing gives the Simpsons more freedom to use the company’s “significant” cash flow, affording them more latitude to invest in the company instead of focusing on paying down its debt.
Simpson’s fashion line for women and girls – which features clothes, accessories, shoes, perfume and luggage – is sold at department stores, including Macy’s and Nordstrom, but the new financing is likely to expand its reach.
The company is “on target for a record-breaking 2022,” according to the Second Avenue press release. It has 37 product categories and the company is planning to add skincare, health and wellness, fine jewelry and furniture.
The entertainer had struggled last year to raise enough cash to buy back her brand, hoping to do so before Sequential filed for bankruptcy protection. She feared another buyer would swoop in, but in the end was the only bidder for her company, according to court filings.
“This refinancing is incredibly attractive as it offers the company more flexibility but more importantly it deepens an important relationship [with] the Schottenstein family, ”said William Susman, who helped secure the first financing deal.