Struggling denim maker Joe’s Jeans Inc. is closing up shop and shedding its assets, with a few different players getting a piece.
The Commerce company announced Tuesday that it will sell its Joe’s brand and its operating assets to Los Angeles brand licensing company Sequential Brands Group Inc. and Hong Kong holding company Global Brands Holding Limited for an aggregate purchase price of $80 million, which will go to pay down Joe’s debt.
The company also agreed to merge its Hudson Clothing business, which it acquired in 2013 in a deal that hastened Joe’s downfall, with the parent company of New York luxury men’s label Robert Graham, a brand known for its extravagantly printed shirts.
After the sale closes, the Hudson and Robert Graham business will be renamed Differential Brands Group Inc. and remain listed on Nasdaq. Michael Buckley, chief executive officer of Robert Graham, has been tapped to lead DBG as chief executive.
Sequential, which paid about $67 million in the deal, will oversee Joe’s global marketing strategy. Under a long-term licensing agreement, Global Brands will design, produce and distribute products across several categories including womenswear and menswear.
Joe’s Jeans founder Joe Dahan, who started the company in 2001, will continue to lead product design and brand marketing as creative director. The first range of products in collaboration with Global Brands is expected to launch next spring.
Joe’s Jeans financial troubles started when it acquired rival denim brand Hudson for about $94 million in 2013. In the two years since, Joe’s defaulted on more than $90 million in debt, much of it used to purchase Hudson.