November 20, 2015 / 10:57 PM / 2 years ago

Authentic Brands prepares for IPO: sources

(Reuters) - Authentic Brands Group LLC, a U.S. developer and licensor of apparel and accessory brands, is making preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) that could come in the first half of 2016, according to people familiar with the matter.

Authentic Brands’ majority owner, private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP, is currently in the process of interviewing investment banks to hire underwriters for the IPO, the people said this week.

The portfolio of brand rights, which includes Prince Sports, Michael Jackson and Juicy Couture, generates approximately $75 million in annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, one of the people added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Authentic Brands declined to comment, while Leonard Green & Partners did not immediately return requests for comment.

Other companies in Authentic Brands’ sector include Cherokee Inc (CHKE.O), a Van Nuys, California-based licensor of apparel and lifestyle brands, and New York City-based Iconic Brands Inc (ICNB.PK)

Like its peers, New York-based Authentic Brands pursues an acquisitive business model. Recent purchases include outdoor-lifestyle brand Tretorn and fashion brand Jones New York.

Leonard Green acquired a majority stake in Authentic Brands in 2010 as part of a $250 million deal in which Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Salter maintained a minority stake in the company.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis, Olivia Oran and Lauren Hirsch in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay

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