Gordon Brothers has acquired women’s lifestyle brand Orsay.
As part of the agreement, the restructuring and investment company also acquired the brand archives, associated brands and other intellectual properties of Orsay GmbH. In doing so, Gordon Brothers aims to maintain the Orsay ethos while introducing new apparel, footwear and accessories.
The terms of the contract are not disclosed.
A request for comment regarding the value of the deal, as well as Orsay’s maximum annual sales, hiring plans and non-e-commerce growth strategies was not immediately acknowledged Wednesday morning.
In April, Boston-based Gordon Brothers received $300 million in funding from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, raising the advisory, restructuring and investment firm’s capital to over a billion dollars.
In an effort to expand the business internationally and maintain Orsay’s existing franchises, a partnership with commercial technology company Scayle was formed. Scayle provides e-commerce software to the brand so it can continue to serve shoppers in Europe. As part of the new setup, Orsay also plans to use Scayle, which is the B2B unit and infrastructure behind About You, with its B2B and distribution services.
On Instagram, Orsay trumpeted her “young, fashionable and affordable outfits to express her femininity”. But the company has struggled over the past year. In March, Willstatt, Germany-based fashion retailer Orsay announced plans to terminate the contracts of its 200 German stores. In June, a company spokesperson announced that it was closing all branches and had laid off about 1,200 workers. The pandemic’s severe dent in business and the impact of war in Ukraine would have further depressed German consumers’ propensity to consume, Orsay’s spokesman said at the time.
Last fall, Orsay GmbH filed for protective shield proceedings due to impending insolvency in the first quarter of 2022. This turned into self-administration insolvency proceedings at the end of January. At that time, the holding company of the French entrepreneurial family Mulliez ceded Orsay to restructuring specialists Gordon Brothers in an attempt to save the German outposts.
Interestingly, Orsay was one of the first European companies to go online in Germany, launching a site in November 1998. An English version followed in the summer of 1999 and Orsay began shipping online orders to all countries. of the European Union. In an interview with WWD in 2000, an Orsay executive said that the brand’s e-commerce had increased fivefold by 1999 and was then comparable to that of Orsay’s smaller store.
In a statement on Wednesday, Gordon Brothers President of Brands Tobias Nanda said the company has followed Orsay’s story for years and has been impressed with its “powerful connection” with consumers.
Tarek Muller, co-founder and co-CEO of About You and Scayle, praised Gordon Brothers for “his enthusiasm for Orsay, his flexibility and his desire to ensure his continued presence in the European market”.
Dating back to 1903, Gordon Brothers has been investing in brands since 2003. The company has helped reinvigorate some well-known and nostalgic brands like Laura Ashley. Gordon Brothers also owns the New York company Nicole Miller. The company completes more than $100 billion in divestments and valuations annually and provides short- and long-term capital to clients. He is known for lending and investing in brands, real estate, inventory, equipment and other assets together and individually to provide clients with liquidity solutions.
Through its acquisitions, Gordon Brothers’ approach is often to expand licenses and franchises to strengthen e-commerce and develop more strategic ties with wholesale and retail.