​Why Naked Brand (NAKD) and Bendon Limited are a Perfect Fit

Spotlight Companies  |

The global intimate apparel market is estimated to reach $250 billion by 2022. One important aspect driving sales is the new focus on high-quality fabrics and more fashion-forward designs. Moreover, younger consumers are increasingly gravitating toward brands that embrace positive body messages and that emphasize inclusivity and self-confidence. As a result, modern brands priding themselves on fit, quality and message are disrupting the market, which has traditionally been saturated with heavily photoshopped advertising and one-size-fits-all design. One brand renowned for their fashion, fit and quality fabric is Naked Brand Group Inc. (NAKD).

The company designs men’s and women’s fashionable underwear that’s designed for their customers to feel free, unencumbered and empowered. Naked’s founders and designers developed innerwear fabrics that feel, basically, like wearing nothing at all, and they’ve been wildly popular with consumers. The company itself has done a remarkable job growing the brand, which includes partnerships and collaborative collection line with NBA Superstar Dwyane Wade and the Home Shopping Network, as well as growing its retail footprint to major department and online retail stores.

Now, with the recently announced merger with intimate apparel and swimwear leader Bendon Limited, Naked is better positioned than ever to become the next household brand in the industry.

“We are pleased to have reached a definitive agreement with Bendon, which is the culmination of much hard work,” Hochman said. “We believe that this merger is structured to benefit our shareholders as well as the go-forward business. We look forward to closing this transaction in due course.”

Privately held Bendon Limited has a portfolio of 10 highly productive brands, including Bendon, Bendon Man, Davenport, Evollove, Fayreform, Hickory, Lovable (in Australia and New Zealand) and Pleasure State, as well as licensed brands Heidi Klum Intimates and Swimwear and Stella McCartney Lingerie and Swimwear.

Klum, the famous Supermodel and TV Host, succeeded Elle Macpherson’s 25-year tenure as Creative Director of Bendon’s flagship intimate collection. Bendon products can be found in over 43 countries, as well as through a growing network of 60 company-owned Bendon retail and outlet stores in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

“This transformative merger will create a powerful portfolio of iconic innerwear, sleepwear, and swimwear brands,” stated Justin Davis-Rice, Executive Chairman of Bendon. “We believe this merger will enable the combined company to strengthen its global industry leadership and continue to drive growth over the long-term.”

As part of the deal, Naked and Bendon will become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Bendon Group Holdings Limited, a newly formed Australian holding company (Holdco), and the shareholders of Bendon and the stockholders of Naked, respectively, will become the shareholders of Holdco.

This merger looks like a perfect fit and a catalyst for Naked as it aligns with a major player in the transforming underwear and intimate apparel industry.

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A Comfortable Pair

Naked has already established a growing list of major relationships with premier retailers like HSN, Macy’s (M), Bloomingdale’s, Amazon (AMZN), Hudson Bay, Holt Renfrew, BareNeccesities and Nordstrom’s (JWN), while also building a high-quality e-commerce site of their own at wearenaked.com. The merger with Bendon Limited now cements its place in an industry primed for expansion and craving ambitious, socially-driven leadership.

Naked certainly represents the modern, socially-conscious business. It has commitments to Project World Citizen, where a portion of proceeds go to build computer labs in rural Ghana, and Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, which helps low-income women receive screening and support. These charity partnerships bring awareness, especially for millennials looking more and more for retail brands that align with their own values. The merger with Bendon will only enhance their ability to create positive change and support human rights.

Building on Strong Foundations

The company has also shown that it understands creative collaboration. Just look at its partnership with sports celebrity Dwyane Wade, a three-time NBA champion. Naked and Wade teamed up for “The Naked Truth” campaign, where notable individuals, including Wade teamed up to share impactful life experiences. Wade, who also sits on the company’s Advisory Board, also designed the Naked X Wade collection of men’s athleisure and innerwear.

"Freedom, authentic personal achievement, success on your own terms, these are the ideals Naked is celebrating,” Wade says in the campaign. "These are big, important ideas that really mean something to me and I hope to inspire people to stay true to themselves and live a life they'll be proud of."

Truth and authenticity are the core values at the heart of Naked’s philosophy. This deal with Bendon Limited will look to bring this inspiring brand and its luxurious collections to more consumers everywhere. Bendon has reach across the globe especially in the Asia-Pacific region, which represents a one of the most exciting potential markets of the coming future as younger generations inside China change their perception on intimate wear. With this new merger, Naked and Bendon Limited can now bring their combined momentum to this appealing market and beyond.


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