WHP GLOBAL RECEIVES $375 MILLION EQUITY INVESTMENT FROM ARES MANAGEMENT AT $1.6 BILLION VALUATION TO FUEL NEXT PHASE OF GROWTH
New York, NY March 8, 2023 – WHP Global (“WHP” or “the Company”), a leading global brand management firm today announced a $375 million equity investment from funds managed by the Private Equity Group of Ares Management Corporation (“Ares”) (NYSE: ARES) providing significant growth capital for WHP Global’s next wave of brand acquisitions. The transaction values WHP Global at $1.6 billion.
Founded in 2019 by retail industry veteran Yehuda Shmidman together with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”), WHP Global is one of the fastest growing companies in the brand management industry. Today, WHP Global’s portfolio of brands generates more than $6.5 billion in global retail sales across three verticals including: Fashion anchored by Express, Anne Klein, and Joseph Abboud; Hardgoods anchored by Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us; and Athletic anchored by Lotto.
“WHP Global has experienced record-setting growth since its founding in 2019, and this new significant investment from Ares gives us a powerful edge to capitalize on today’s robust M&A market as we chart the course for our next phase of growth,” said Yehuda Shmidman, Chairman and CEO of WHP Global. “We’re thrilled for this partnership with Ares, and excited to advance our company alongside our existing shareholder base that includes Oaktree, Solus, Platform Founder Group and WHP employees.”
“Our investment in WHP Global serves as a testament to the strength of its platform and the go-forward growth opportunity,” said Jordan Smith, Partner in the Ares Private Equity Group. “We look forward to partnering with Yehuda and the WHP team on its mission to acquire and grow global consumer brands.”
As part of the transaction, Jordan Smith and Aaron Rosen, Partners in the Ares Private Equity Group will join WHP Global’s Board of Directors.
Thomas Casarella, Managing Director and Assistant Portfolio Manager in Oaktree’s Special Situations Group and Co-Founder of WHP Global, added, “It has been remarkable to watch WHP grow from day one with a single brand to the leading business it is today. This transaction serves as a meaningful milestone for WHP as we continue to build on the Company’s strong foundation. I join Yehuda in welcoming Ares to the WHP board and I’m confident that together we can help WHP reach even greater heights in the years to come.”
Proceeds from the transaction include adding significant cash to the Company’s balance sheet for future M&A.
Moelis & Company LLC acted as exclusive placement agent to WHP Global. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to WHP Global on the transaction.