Gordon Brothers has sold the Orsay women’s brand, archives, related trademarks and other intellectual property to a private investor from the Czech Republic operating under Orsay International.
The deal, revealed Thursday, comes just fourth months after Gordon Brothers, the Boston-based advisory, restructuring and investment firm, bought Orsay from Orsay GmbH.
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“When we bought Orsay’s brand, it was a traditional, vertically integrated structure with legacy systems and a large brick-and-mortar store footprint,” said Tobias Nanda, head of brands at Gordon Brothers. “In record time, we revitalized sourcing and design options, established new manufacturing resources, optimized IT and reorganized human capital, and built out a robust distribution network online that allowed the brand to continue.”
According to Gordon Brothers, the private investor will continue to invest in the Orsay fashion brand and work to grow its presence in Europe online, in stores and with existing franchisees.
“Our firm has the unique ability to acquire, value, lend to, invest in and reimagine brands to accelerate their transformation and support continued growth,” said Frank Morton, chief investment officer at Gordon Brothers. “Under new ownership, Orsay will continue to reach consumers throughout Europe and embark upon its next chapter of growth.”
Gordon Brothers streamlined Orsay’s operations and “created a nimble team, restructured the brand, optimized the product offering, strengthened and expanded franchisees, and invested in marketing to grow Orsay’s e-commerce channels,” Gordon Brothers said in its announcement.
The purchase price was not revealed.
When Gordon Brothers bought Orsay earlier this year, Nanda told WWD that the brand generated nearly 500 million euros in sales pre-COVID-19.
The Willstatt, Germany-based fashion retailer has experienced some difficult times due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine’s impacting Germans’ willingness to spend. The company adjusted through closing its company-owned stores as well as through layoffs, and Gordon Brothers led restructuring efforts.
Orsay was one of the earliest European companies to go online in Germany by launching a site in November 1998. An English version followed in the summer of 1999 and Orsay started shipping online orders to all European Union countries.
Gordon Brothers owns Laura Ashley and Nicole Miller. Last November, Gordon Brothers said it provided Everyone Inc. with a $25 million term loan to help fuel Everlane’s growth. The loan was secured by the sustainable apparel, accessories and footwear retailer’s digitally native brand and working capital assets. Gordon Brothers gave no indication of whether it could eventually take an equity stake in Everlane.
In April 2022 Gordon Brothers received $300 million in financing from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, increasing the firm’s capital base to more than $1 billion.
The firm has more than 30 offices in five continents and has been investing in brands since 2003. The firm conducts more than $100 billion worth of dispositions and appraisals annually and provides short-term and long-term capital to clients. It is known to lend against and invest in brands, real estate, inventory, equipment and other assets together and individually to give clients liquidity solutions.