Iconix Brand Group
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, U.S.|
Robert C. Galvin
(president and CEO)
|Products||Clothing, athletic shoes|
|Revenue||US$400 million FY 2011|
|US$80M FY 2011|
Number of employees
Iconix Brand Group is an American brand management company that licenses brands to retailers and manufacturers primarily in the apparel, footwear, and apparel accessory industries. Its brands are available in such stores as Kohl's, Kmart, Sears, Macy's, Nordstrom, Target and JC Penney.
History and operations
The company began as Candie's, Inc., whose brand it purchased in 1993. The Bongo brand was purchased in 1998. The Badgley Mischka brand was purchased in 2004. The Joe Boxer and Rampage brands were acquired on July 22, 2005, and September 15, 2005, respectively. In 2006, the company acquired the Mudd, London Fog, Mossimo, and Ocean Pacific brands on April 11, August 29, November 1, and November 6, respectively. The company continued with acquisitions in 2007 with the purchase of Cannon, Danskin, Artful Dodger, and Rocawear brands.
On June 3, 2010, Iconix and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates jointly acquired all assets related to the Peanuts comic strip from its longtime owner, United Media, using the property to form a new company, Peanuts Worldwide, which is 80% owned by Iconix and 20% owned by Schulz Associates. Peanuts Worldwide also acquired United Media's licensing arm, which represents licensing for its other properties including Dilbert and Nancy.
In 2011, Iconix acquired electronics brand The Sharper Image. In October 2012, Nike Inc. announced that it had signed with Iconix Brand Group to sell the English brand Umbro for US$225 million. The acquisition was completed in December 2012.
In 2013, Iconix acquired Lee Cooper from Sun Capital Partners. In February 2013, Iconix acquired control of the Buffalo David Bitton brand in an effort to expand into higher-end brands. Iconix paid Buffalo International ULC $76.5 million in cash for a 51% stake in the brand.
In February 2015, Iconix bought the Strawberry Shortcake brand from American Greetings. Also that month, Iconix and Anthony L&S Athletics, LLC acquired intangible assets of Pony along with North American rights to the brand from Symphony Holdings, LLC, with the option to purchase additional markets. A new subsidiary, with 75% and 25% stakes owned by Iconix and Anthony L&S Athletics respectively, would hold the Pony rights.
In 2015, several top executives, including founder Neil Cole, resigned following a statement that Iconix was under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The investigation was triggered by Iconix's 2014 financial statements, after which it received a letter from the SEC. Stock prices fell 24% after Iconix confirmed the investigation.  On December 5, 2019, the SEC charged Iconix and three of its former top executives with fraud. The COO, Seth Horowitz, pleaded guilty to the charges, and Iconix agreed to pay a $5.5 million penalty. As of July 2020, the suit against the founder and previous CEO, Neil Cole, is still ongoing.
On May 10, 2017, DHX Media announced that it had acquired the Iconix entertainment division for $345 million. The sale was closed on June 30, 2017, giving DHX rights to the Strawberry Shortcake franchise, and more prominently, the 80% majority stake of Peanuts Worldwide.
On July 14, 2020, Iconix announced that the company is up for sale. The next year, the company went private with equity investor Lancer Capital LLC purchasing all outstanding shares and delisting it from Nasdaq.
After investigations in 2003, Neil Cole and Candie's reached an agreement to settle charges of fraudulent accounting practices brought against it by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Neil Cole agreed to pay $75,000 to settle charges without admitting or denying wrongdoing.
In 2019, Cole was again charged with 10 criminal counts, including conspiracy, securities fraud, making false filings with the SEC and conspiracy to destroy records. Iconix agreed to pay a civil penalty of $5.5 million to settle the SEC's claims.
Through its history, Iconix has owned a large portfolio of brands, which include:
- Truth or Dare
- Badgley Mischka (2004–17)
- Peanuts Worldwide (80%; 2010–17); sold in 2017 to DHX Media (now WildBrain)
- The Sharper Image (2011–17)
- Strawberry Shortcake acquired in 2015 from American Greetings; sold in 2017 to DHX Media (now WildBrain)
- Iconix Brand Group Inc. at Bloomberg Businessweek
- "iconix brand group, inc. - Investor Relations - Press Release". Archived from the original on August 11, 2013. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Inc., Iconix Brand Group. "Iconix Brand Group Closes Acquisition of Peanuts". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- "Iconix Forms Peanuts Worldwide". License!. UBM. June 7, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- "Iconix acquires The Sharper Image brand - Home Textiles Today". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- "Iconix Brand Buys Nike’s Umbro Soccer Unit for $225 Million" at Bloomberg.com, October 24, 2012
- "Iconix Brand Group Completes Acquisition of Umbro from Nike for $225 Million", Fashion Invest website Archived January 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, December 4, 2012
- "Sun European Partners sells Lee Cooper for $72m". AltAssets Private Equity News. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Reuters UK (February 4, 2013). "Deals of the Day 04/02/13". Reuters UK.
- Atkinson, Claire (February 3, 2015). "Strawberry Shortcake is new 'it' girl for Iconix". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Abel, Katie (February 3, 2015). "Iconix Acquires North American Rights for Pony". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- Young, Vicky M.; Borcharot, Debra (January 6, 2016). "Iconix What Went Wrong?". WWD: Women's Wear Daily. 211 (1): 60–64. ISSN 0149-5380. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
- McCoy, Kevin. "Iconix confirms SEC investigation, shares plunge". USA TODAY. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
- "SEC Charges Iconix Brand Group and Former Top Executives With Accounting Fraud".
- "Former Iconix Brand CEO charged with accounting fraud in U.S." Reuters. December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
- "Former Chief Executive Officer Of Publicly Traded Brand Management Company Charged With Accounting Fraud And Obstruction Of Justice". justice.gov. December 5, 2019.
- "Former Iconix CEO Neil Cole Charged With Accounting Fraud". footwearnews.com. December 5, 2019.
- Badgley Mischka And Titan Industries Buy Trademark Rights From Iconix
- Iconix Brand Sells Off the Sharper Image
- "DHX Media Acquires 'Peanuts' in $345 Million Purchase of Iconix". Variety. May 10, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
- "Iconix Brand Group, Inc. Announces Hiring Of Robert Galvin As CEO". Iconix. Retrieved October 16, 2018.[permanent dead link]
- "Industry Moves: October 2018". Footwear News. October 31, 2018. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
- "Iconix Brand Group Is Open to Selling Itself as It Looks to Tidy Balance Sheet". footwearnews.com. July 14, 2020.
- "Iconix Enters into Definitive Agreement to be Acquired in "Go Private" Transaction". GlobeNewswire. June 11, 2021.
- "Candie's Settles SEC Case". The NY Post. May 2003. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
- "Iconix Brands Ex-CEO Neil Cole Charged by U.S. in Accounting Fraud". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
- Brands archive on IBG, August 17, 2020