Forever 21 acquisition finalized, new owners expect to keep US stores open

New ownership group includes Simon Property Group, Brookfield Property Partners and Authentic Brands

Three companies finalized the acquisition of Forever 21, marketing company Authentic Brands Group announced Wednesday.

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The new ownership group -- mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners with Authentic Brands -- say they expect to keep Forever 21's 448 U.S. stores open.

Court filings earlier this month put the price of the sale at $81 million.

SAVING FOREVER 21 IS A HIGH-STAKES GAMBLE FOR MALL OWNER

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SPGSIMON PROPERTY GROUP INC.92.75+3.02+3.36%
BPYBROOKFIELD PROPERTY PARTNERS15.46+0.25+1.64%

"Forever 21 is a powerful retail brand with incredible consumer reach and a wealth of untapped potential," Authentic Brands CEO Jamie Salter said in a statement. "We're looking forward to working with the F21 team and our global partners."

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"Together, we'll revitalize the brand's core business and connect with audiences around the world through new product offerings and experiences," Salter continued.

FILE - A Forever 21 clothing store in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Forever 21, founded in 1984 and based in California, filed for bankruptcy protection in September. Simon and Brookfield are two of Forever 21's largest unsecured creditors.

Simon and Authentic will each own 37.5 percent of Forever 21, with Brookfield owning 25 percent of its intellectual property and operating businesses.

The new owners plan to continue to operate the retailer's Los Angeles headquarters and maintain its e-commerce operation. Its stores in Central America, South America, Mexico, the Philippines and the Caribbean will be shifted to a licensed partnership model.

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Foreign suppliers to Forever 21 argued that the $81 million bankruptcy sale left them on the hook for $120 million.

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