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Superdry sells Asia Pacific IP for 50 million dollars amid turnaround

By Huw Hughes


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Image: Superdry store at The O2, Icon Outlet

British fashion retailer Superdry has reached an agreement to sell its intellectual property (IP) assets within the Asia Pacific (APAC) region to South Korean firm Cowell Fashion Company for 50 million dollars amid its ongoing turnaround strategy.

The deal means Cowell will own and use the Superdry brand in key APAC markets, “starting with its home market of South Korea and extending to others including China, with Superdry and Cowell working together to develop products relevant for those markets”.

Superdry said Cowell, which focuses on licensing and manufacturing apparel products for global brands across various product categories, is “ideally positioned to appreciate and maximise Superdry’s potential across the region”.

The retailer said it will provide “certain support and know-how relating to the Superdry brand” to Cowell during the first two years following completion of the sale, and will receive an additional 1 million dollar management fee for these services.

Superdry founder and CEO Julian Dunkerton said the deal offers a “fantastic opportunity” to expand the brand’s global reach, “whilst providing additional funding to help deliver our turnaround programme in the face of the challenging consumer landscape”.

Turnaround strategy

The deal follows the news earlier this month that Superdry had called in advisors to help cut costs amid “challenging market conditions”.

That came after Superdry lowered its full-year profit outlook in February due to its wholesale segment underperforming in the first half of the year and amid “increasing uncertainty on Q4”.

The retailer now expects to broadly break even for the year compared to its previous guidance of an adjusted pre-tax profit of between 10 million pounds and 20 million pounds.

That came as its adjusted pre-tax loss for the six months to October 29 widened to 13.6 million pounds from a loss of 2.8 million pounds a year earlier.

On a brighter note, group revenue in that period increased 3.6 percent to 287.2 million pounds, with store revenue up 14.3 percent as shoppers flocked back to physical stores following the end of lockdown restrictions the prior year.

A week after the profit warning, Dunkerton denied media reports that he was currently considering selling the business. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, he said that “while there has been speculation that he is considering taking Superdry private”, there were “no plans to do this at the moment”.