Sequential Brands Group Explores Strategic Options

Sequential Brands Group Explores Strategic Options

Sequential Brands Group Inc., the parent of Avia, And1 and Gaiam, announced that Karen Murray, its CEO, has stepped down. The company said its board of directors is conducting a broad review of strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value.

Such strategic alternatives may include the divestiture of one or more existing brands, the acquisition of one or more new brands, a stock buyback program, and other initiatives. The Board has engaged Stifel to serve as its exclusive financial advisor to assist in this process.

Other brands owned by Sequential Brands include Joe’s, Ellen Tracy, Jessica Simpson, William Rast, Heely’s, Caribbean Joe, DVS, The Franklin Mint and SPRI.

“After having received unsolicited interest for several of our brands from multiple parties, Sequential’s Board of Directors is engaging in this formal process to ensure that we are evaluating all alternatives to best further the interest of our shareholders,” said William Sweedler, chairman of Sequential.

The company has not set a timetable for the conclusion of its review of strategic alternatives and does not expect to comment further or update the market with any additional information on this matter unless and until the Board of Directors has approved a specific transaction or otherwise deems disclosure necessary or appropriate. There is no certainty that the review of strategic alternatives will result in the company pursuing a particular transaction or completing any such transaction.

Murray, who also stepped down as a director of the company, will continue to serve as senior advisor and assist the company on strategic opportunities.  The Board has begun a search to identify the company’s new CEO. Chad Wagenheim, EVP of strategic development and operations, has been promoted to president and will assist the company during this transition period.

William Sweedler, chairman of Sequential, said, “Chad has been and continues to be an integral part of our executive team. With his demonstrated operating expertise, strategic leadership and focus on results, we’re confident in his ability to help lead Sequential through this next phase.”

Sweedler  added, “I’d like to thank Karen Murray for her leadership and the contributions she has made during her tenure with the company as CEO.”

President Chad Wagenheim said, “I’m looking forward to serving as President and assisting Sequential during this transformative time. We have a strong portfolio of brands, blue chip base of licensees, and solid lender relationships. With our recently restructured lending agreement and no upcoming debt maturities, we are fully focused on executing against our plan to drive growth and right-size our expense structure given the current size of the company.”