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Authentic Brands Group, LLC Acquires Collective Licensing, LP, Including Iconic Global Lifestyle Brand 'Airwalk,' From Payless Holdings LLC

NEW YORK, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Authentic Brands Group, LLC (ABG) and Payless Holdings LLC (Payless) announced today 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.

Vision Street Wear has been an icon of skate and music culture since 1976, sponsoring some of the most amazing riders and featuring incredible musicians and artists along the way. ABG will work to re-establish the company's roots by finding a master licensee in California where the brand was born.

Additional details regarding the transaction were not made public.

Robert W. Baird served as the exclusive financial advisor to Payless in this transaction.

About Authentic Brands Group, LLC
Authentic Brands Group, in partnership with Leonard Green & Partners, is an intellectual property corporation with a mandate to acquire, manage and build long-term value in prominent consumer brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG's mission is to further enhance brand equity through partnering with best-in-class licensees and direct-to-retail partnerships. ABG brands include Marilyn Monroe®, Mini Marilyn™, Muhammad Ali®, Elvis Presley®, Juicy Couture®, Judith Leiber®, Adrienne Vittadini®, Taryn Rose®, Hickey Freeman®, Hart Schaffner Marx®, Palm Beach®, Misook®, Prince®, Spyder®, Ektelon®, Viking®, Bobby Jones®, TapouT®, Sportcraft®.

About Payless
Payless ShoeSource is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere, offering a wide range of shoes and accessory items at affordable prices for every member of the family. The company's mission is simple: Become the first choice for style and value in footwear and accessories for our customers. Payless has more than 4,300 stores in more than 30 countries and was founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kan. where its global headquarters remains today. Payless' parent company, Payless Holdings, is jointly owned by Golden Gate Capital and Blum Capital Partners.

Media Contacts

For Authentic Brands Group:
Haley Steinberg
[email protected] 

For licensing and business inquiries:
[email protected]

For Payless:
Nikki Sloup
[email protected] 

SOURCE Authentic Brands Group, LLC

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