Speciality apparel retailer Bebe Stores has formed a joint venture with Bluestar Alliance.
Bluestar has contributed $35m to the JV, which has been paid to Bebe to receive approximately 50% of the joint venture.
Bebe founder, CEO and chairman of the board Manny Mashouf said: "Over decades, we built one of the great global brands in the women’s fashion world. However, the value of our brand, its reach and potential is clearly not reflected in investors’ current perception of the company and its valuation.
"The strategic decision to aggressively pursue a licensing strategy allows us to capitalise on the value of our brand in all categories and channels on a global scale. We have seen significant demand from prospective licensees and expect to generate long-term, committed royalties."
For the JV, Bluestar will leverage its existing brand management organisation and infrastructure to develop a wholesale domestic and international lifestyle licensing business. The company will also manage the JV’s day-to-day operations.
Bluestar CEO Joseph Gabbay said: "bebe is an iconic contemporary women’s brand with a loyal customer base and growing international presence. We believe the company has significant long-term growth potential given its distinct market position, multiple channels of distribution and growing international brand awareness.
"We see a tremendous opportunity to leverage our brand expertise and capitalise bebe’s differentiated market position to build a global contemporary lifestyle brand."
Guggenheim Securities served as financial adviser and Latham & Watkins acted as legal counsel to Bebe. Blank Rome served as legal counsel to Bluestar.