Kirkland & Ellis advised Express, Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) ("EXPR"), a modern, multichannel apparel and accessories brand, on its transformative strategic partnership with WHP Global ("WHP"), a leading global brand management firm, to advance an omnichannel platform which is expected to drive accelerated, long-term growth through the acquisition and operation of a portfolio of brands. EXPR and WHP will also form an intellectual property joint venture intended to scale the Express brand through new domestic category licensing and international expansion opportunities. Under the terms of the transaction, WHP will make a common equity PIPE investment to acquire 5.4 million newly issued shares of EXPR at $4.60 per share, representing an approximate pro forma ownership of 7.4%. The intellectual property joint venture implies a total value of the Express brand’s intellectual property at approximately $400 million. The transaction is expected to close in EXPR’s fourth fiscal quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.
The Kirkland team was led by corporate partners Eric Schiele, Bob Hayward and Rachael Coffey, technology & IP partners Aaron Lorber, Adam Petravicius and Bernadette Coppola and included corporate partner Martha Todd and associates Jimin He and Yihsin Wang, technology & IP associate RJ McLaughlin, capital markets partners Alex Schwartz and Cot Eversole and associates Justin Hay and Parker Davis, debt finance partners Rachael Lichman and Andrew Hurley and associate Alex Blaznik, tax partners Sara Zablotney and Joseph Tootle and associate Dana Quinn, restructuring partner Alex Schwarzman, antitrust partners Andrea Murino and Athina Van Melkebeke and associate Loukia Kopitsa, and international trade & national security partner Carrie Schroll.