Gordon Brothers Group and WME Announce Strategic Partnership to Acquire Consumer Product and Retail Brands.
BOSTON, MA and BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Gordon Brothers Group, a global investment, lending and advisory firm, and WME, the world’s leading talent agency, jointly announced today the formation of a strategic partnership to identify, acquire and often revitalize undervalued, distressed or orphaned consumer product and retail brands. This partnership builds off the successful collaboration that started last year between Gordon Brothers Group and WME on the Polaroid® brand.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to leverage the skill sets of our two innovative companies,” said Robert (“Bobby”) Sager, Partner at Gordon Brothers Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Polaroid. “By combining our resources and abilities we’re uniquely positioned to revitalize and reimagine brands that are underperforming or in jeopardy of fading away if left untouched.”
“Polaroid is our proof of concept,” said Ari Emanuel Co-CEO at WME. “It demonstrates that Gordon Brothers Group’s inherent understanding of how to maximize the value of retail and consumer product-based businesses, what I call their ‘merchants perspective’, combined with WME’s deep relationships and acumen in media and entertainment, are the perfect mix for successful brand revitalization.”
In April 2009, Gordon Brothers Group, as part of a joint venture group, acquired the Polaroid brand and other assets through a highly competitive bankruptcy auction process. The joint venture group, which included Hilco Consumer Capital, Knightsbridge Capital and others, immediately focused on enhancing the R&D process, aligning strategic manufacturing and distribution partners, and expanding global reach. Additionally, Gordon Brothers Group played a leading role when Polaroid engaged WME to help modernize the iconic 73-year-old brand.
WME, Polaroid, and its investors subsequently identified and secured a multi-year partnership with world-renowned performing artist Lady Gaga to serve as Polaroid’s hands-on Creative Director and mesh her artistic and cutting-edge style with the brand. Recently at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, exactly one year after the anniversary of her appointment as Creative Director, Lady Gaga unveiled the highly anticipated Polaroid Grey Label®, an original line of products she co-designed. This collaboration reflects Polaroid’s long standing tradition of innovation tracing back to founder Dr. Edwin Land and Lady Gaga’s mission to deliver products that enable creativity for all, celebrate artistry and make instantaneous sharing across the physical and digital worlds possible.
Having Lady Gaga on board as Creative Director signals a new era for the Polaroid brand and is indicative of how Gordon Brothers Group and WME will approach other brands.
“This is not a typical celebrity spokesperson model but rather an innovative approach that places the talent at the core of the brand’s strategic and creative thinking,” Sager and Emanuel jointly stated. “Gordon Brothers Group and WME will strategically align some of the world’s greatest brands with some of the world’s greatest talents.” They added that, “the key to success requires a delicate blend of rebuilding capital structures, controlling R&D, redefining the supply chain and, above all, effectively managing the brand in the minds of consumers.”
Currently, Gordon Brothers Group and WME are evaluating a host of potential brands to acquire while initiating discussions with some of today’s hottest stars. In addition to Polaroid, some of Gordon Brothers Group’s current brand investments include Linens ‘n Things® and The Sharper Image®. Past investments include Bombay®, Casual Corner® and the Royal Velvet®, Cannon® and Field Crest® brands.
About Gordon Brothers Group
Founded in 1903, Gordon Brothers Group (www.gordonbrothers.com) is a global advisory, restructuring and investment firm specializing in the retail, consumer products, industrial, and real estate sectors. Gordon Brothers Group maximizes value for both healthy and distressed companies by purchasing or selling all categories of assets, appraising assets, providing debt financing, making private equity investments, and operating businesses for extended periods. Gordon Brothers Group conducts over $50 billion worth of transactions and appraisals annually.
WME represents elite artists from all facets of the entertainment industry, including motion pictures, television, music, theatre, publishing, and physical production. WME also advises some of the world’s most recognized consumer brands to create entertainment-based marketing solutions. Based in Los Angeles, WME has offices in New York, London, Nashville and Miami.
Polaroid® and Polaroid Grey Label® are registered trademarks of PLR IP Holdings, LLC. The other brand names mentioned are registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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