A pedestrian walks by a Lucky Brand retail store on July 06, 2020 in Corte Madera, California. Los Angeles based Lucky Brand Dungarees announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the company is millions of dollars in debt. The retailer will close 13 of its 200 retail stores.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

A team-up of the biggest U.S. mall owner, Simon Property Group, and apparel licensing firm Authentic Brands Group has been tapped by a bankruptcy court as the winning bidder to acquire denim maker Lucky Brand for $140.1 million. 

The two — in a venture known as Sparc — announced Thursday evening they are set to assume the role of core licensee and operating partner for Lucky, overseeing all sourcing, product design and development, running all of the retailer’s stores in North America, and its e-commerce business. 

Lucky has more than 175 stores in North America, and its merchandise is also often found in department stores like Macy’s. The clothing brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early July, falling victim to the pain that has been inflicted upon the retail industry during the coronavirus pandemic. 

ABG, which has acquired a number of retailers over the years including Barneys New York and Nine West, will own Lucky’s intellectual property and oversee all licensing partnerships, new business and brand development, a press release said. 

“This acquisition will boost the value of our portfolio to more than $13 billion in global retail sales annually,” ABG founder and Chief Executive Jamie Salter said in a statement. “Lucky Brand’s DNA resonates strongly with today’s youth and we see tremendous opportunity to unlock its value in key territories around the world.” 

It was not immediately clear how many Lucky stores Sparc ultimately plans to keep open for business. 

It said it will negotiate with landlords to keep “key stores” open in North America. 

Sparc earlier this week was named the successful bidder for bankrupted men’s apparel retailer Brooks Brothers, in a $325 million deal to keep at least 125 Brooks Brothers stores open. 

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