Brooks Brothers may be bought in bankruptcy: Report

Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group in talks for joint deal

Marketing firm Authentic Brands Group and commercial real estate company Simon Property Group are in talks to buy struggling high-end clothing brand Brooks Brothers in bankruptcy, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

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A Brooks Brothers spokesperson told FOX Business the company isn't going public with any deals right now.

"In the ordinary course of business, Brooks Brothers consistently explores various strategic options to position the company for growth and success," the spokesperson said. "We have nothing to announce at this time."

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Brooks Brothers was trending downward even before the coronavirus pandemic hit due to relaxed dress codes among financial institutions and law firms where power suits used to be the norm. JPMorgan Chase scaled back its dress code to business casual in 2016 and Goldman Sachs announced a “firm-wide flexible dress code” last year.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SPGSIMON PROPERTY GROUP INC.63.98+2.96+4.85%

When coronavirus hit America earlier this year, many of the remaining formal workers traded in their suit and tie for something more comfortable to wear at home. But a Brooks Brothers spokesperson told FOX Business the company is in a good spot to deal with the economic fallout from COVID-19.

"Casual sportswear is a category that Brooks Brothers invented and it is our largest category today, so we are well positioned to serve customers whose preferences have evolved during this time when many are working from home," the spokesperson said.

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But the company does seem financially strained. The New York Times reported last week that the luxury brand is considering closing three plants in North Carolina, Massachusetts and New York. Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio told the newspaper that he hasn't ruled out bankruptcy.

Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group have worked together in the past, teaming up to buy Forever 21 earlier this year. Authentic Brands Group bought another luxury goods retailer, Barney’s, on its own last October. Other high-end retailers like Neiman Marcus and Dean & DeLuca have filed for bankruptcy recently.

Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group did not respond to FOX Business' requests for comment.

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