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PHOENIX - New Joint Venture Led by WHP Global - Receives Court Approval to Acquire Operations of Express Retail Company

PHOENIX will Operate DTC Commerce in the U.S.A. for Express & Bonobos

NEW YORK, June 14, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- WHP Global, in collaboration with an affiliate of Simon Property Group ("Simon"), Brookfield Properties ("Brookfield"), and Centennial Real Estate ("Centennial"), announce the formation of PHOENIX, a new retail operating platform, which received court approval to acquire a majority of Express, Inc. operations. Upon closing, PHOENIX will operate all direct-to-consumer (DTC) commerce in the U.S.A. for Express and Bonobos.

(PRNewsfoto/WHP Global)
(PRNewsfoto/WHP Global)

PHOENIX will serve as a financially revitalized DTC retail platform and set the stage for long-term growth for the Express and Bonobos brands. PHOENIX will focus on strengthening the core operations of Express and Bonobos, ensuring the continuity of over 450 physical stores, e-commerce operations and the preservation of nearly 7,000 jobs across the country.

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Yehuda Shmidman, Chairman & CEO of WHP Global, emphasized the importance of this transaction: "We are thrilled to partner with Simon, Brookfield, and Centennial to launch PHOENIX. Today's court approval and the formation of PHOENIX marks a vital step in our mission to save Express Inc. and continue serving millions of customers who love the Express and Bonobos brands. With the restructuring actions accomplished during the Chapter 11 process, we believe Express is now well-positioned for a powerful path forward, benefiting all stakeholders, including our valued vendor partners, licensees, landlords and dedicated team."

The transaction is expected to close within the coming week, subject to customary closing conditions.

About PHOENIX
PHOENIX RETAIL LLC was formed in 2024 by WHP Global, an affiliate of Simon Property Group, Brookfield Properties, and Centennial Real Estate to acquire the Express Retail Company and operate Express & Bonobos direct-to-consumer businesses in the United States.

About WHP Global
WHP Global is a leading New York based firm that acquires global consumer brands and invests in high-growth distribution channels including digital commerce platforms and global expansion. WHP owns a portfolio of consumer brands that collectively generate over USD $7 billion in global retail sales. The company also owns WHP+, a turnkey direct to consumer digital e-commerce platform, and WHP SOLUTIONS, a sourcing agency based in Asia. For more information, please visit www.whp-global.com.

About Simon
Simon® is a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed- use destinations and an S&P 100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE: SPG). Our properties across North America, Europe and Asia provide community gathering places for millions of people every day and generate billions in annual sales.

About Brookfield Properties
Brookfield Properties is a fully-integrated, global real estate services company, providing industry-leading portfolio management capabilities across the real estate investment strategies of Brookfield Asset Management — a global alternative asset manager with over $925 billion in AUM.  Brookfield Properties develops and manages premier real estate with a focus on maximizing the tenant experience in addition to the investment and operational performance of the asset. We also focus on integrating leading-edge real estate technologies which enables us to be at the forefront of innovation and sustainability – benefiting not only our tenants and business partners, but also the communities in which we operate. For more information about our approach to operating and developing best-in-class real estate, please visit brookfieldproperties.com.

About Centennial
Centennial is a retail real estate owner and operator with a national portfolio of shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations as well as a full-service property management platform serving third-party owners. With over 300 employees nationwide, the firm now operates 24.5 million square feet of mixed-use destinations in 15 states. Since 1997, Centennial has played a pivotal role in shaping the evolution of American retail by creating a superior multi-faceted shopping experience with properties that serve not only as a place of commerce, but as a place of community. For more information, visit CentennialREC.com.

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SOURCE WHP Global