A multi-disciplinary team led by the Manchester office of national law firm Shoosmiths has advised investment vehicle Wraith on the acquisition of streetwear brand Bench from US investor Gordon Brothers.
Manchester-based Wraith is an affiliate of Apparel Brands, one of Bench’s primary European licensees. It has acquired the label for all territories outside of the Americas for an undisclosed sum.
The deal returns the Bench brand to Manchester, the city in which it was established in 1989.
Shoosmiths’ Manchester-based partner Richard Millington led the deal team which included IP, banking and corporate law specialists from across the firm. Richard has a long history of work on investments, M&A and licensing deals in the brands sectors from his past at Nike and Iconix Brand Group.
The complex, cross-border nature of the transaction saw Shoosmiths enlist and coordinate the work of partner law firms in Canada and the USA through its membership of international legal network World Services Group.
Peter Wood of Wraith said: "We are incredibly excited to be taking over the reins of the Bench brand outside of the Americas. With a vibrant portfolio of great partners throughout Europe and excellent awareness and customer affinity, we believe the potential for the brand is sky high. We’ve worked with Richard and his team on previous brand acquisitions and licenses and once again they showed great deal skill and deep industry knowledge to greatly help this deal get over the line."
Gordon Brothers acquired Bench in July 2018 and relaunched it with a new focus on the gritty Manchester skate culture of the 1990s.