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Walmart Sells Bonobos at $235 Million Loss

Menswear brand Bonobos will be sold to brand management firm WHP Global and popular retailer Express in a $75 million deal.

Walmart acquired Bonobos in 2017 for a staggering $310 million, meaning it’s selling the once-thriving clothing company at a $235 million loss. The deal is expected to close in the second fiscal quarter of 2023.

“Bonobos is an ideal first acquisition for our new partnership with EXPR and will be a terrific addition to our fashion vertical. Post-closing, WHP Global’s portfolio will include more than 10 powerful consumer brands approaching $7 billion in total retail sales,” WHP global chairman and chief executive officer Yehuda Shmidman said in a company release announcing the deal.

Bonobos will be the third brand in the Express portfolio, joining the namesake brand and UpWest.

The deal was split with WHP paying roughly $50 million for the Bonobos brand and Express paying $25 million for Bonobos’ operating assets and additional liabilities. WHP currently owns roughly 60% of Express.

Express CEO Tim Baxter noted that the menswear company has been delivering “double-digit sales growth” and that he’s hopeful for the brand’s future.

“This is a compelling addition to our brand portfolio, and I expect the transaction will be accretive to operating income and free cash flow positive in fiscal 2023,” Baxter said.

Walmart acquired Bonobos and several other brands, including women’s clothing company ModCloth, and outdoor retailer Moosejaw, to boost its ecommerce sector. It sold ModCloth in 2019, in 2020 and Moosejaw earlier this year, per CNBC.

In 2019, Bonobos laid off dozens of employees under Walmart’s push to streamline its ecommerce department. “These decisions are not taken lightly, but we believe they are necessary to set the brand and business up for long-term success,” a Bonobos spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal at the time. The layoffs were a Bonobos decision, she added.

It’s unclear if Bonobos employees will be impacted by layoffs amid the acquisition.

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