Iconix Brand Group has acquired the North American rights to the athletic brand PONY and related intangible assets in partnership with Anthony L&S Athletics for $37 million in cash from Symphony Holdings.
The assets will be purchased through a newly formed subsidiary, which will be owned 75 per cent by Iconix and 25 per cent by AL&S. Subsequent to this transaction, Iconix has the option to expand global ownership of the brand and acquire the PONY assets in additional territories.
"Sports has been one of the strongest and fastest growing segments of our portfolio, and a business that has proven to be truly global in its appeal," commented Neil Cole, chairman and CEO of Iconix. "With the addition of PONY, we believe we can leverage our existing sports platform including our Danskin, Starter and Umbro brands, which represent over two billion of global retail sales, and create significant value for the brand."
Formed in 1972 in New York City, PONY has become one of the top athletic footwear brands worldwide appearing on professional athletes in the World Cup, NBA, NFL, MLB and Boxing. Bridging the gap between on the move, on the court, downtime and after hours, PONY has the consumer covered from fashion to function.
"There is high demand for authentic athletic lifestyle brands," added Seth Horowitz, COO of Iconix. "With PONY’s strong brand recognition across both male and female consumers, we believe we can grow PONY throughout North America, creating a profitable multi-tiered distribution strategy similar to our other successful sports brands. Further, we plan to leverage our existing global platform as we explore opportunities in additional geographies."
In exchange for its 25 per cent interest in the partnership, AL&S contributed its previously held perpetual rights to the PONY brand in the US and Canada and will be the core footwear licensee going forward.
Santino LoConte, co-owner/COO of AL&S, continued: "We are excited to partner with Iconix, and believe by combining our footwear expertise with Iconix’ global sports platform, we can build on PONY’s strong heritage in footwear and create tremendous growth for the brand."