Theory( https://www.ifchic.com/119_theory ) is a brand of fashion items, including clothes, accessories, and shoes, that were launched in 1997. The brand originally targeted women only with their fashion items, but later also started to cater towards men. Since the launch of the brand, the company have been very successful and kept growing year after year into a bigger brand. A couple years later, the company was able to make a global mark by expanding to more countries. At this time, Andrew Rosen and Elie Tahari considered themselves to be successful. The two partners did, however, make a big decision in 2003 that changed the entire ownership of the company. After Andrew mentioned that he would like to retire from the company, both Andrew and Elie decided to sell the company.
At the time, a company called “Link International” was very interested in acquiring Theory Clothing as a brand. The company specialized in various business opportunities and was mainly located in Asia. Just before Link International acquired the brand, they sold 47.1% of their stakes to another company known as Fast Retailing Co. This company was located in the heart of the fashion world, Tokyo. Fast Retailing Co was also the owner of another fashion label known as Uniqlo.
When Andrew and Elie decided to sell Theory to Link International, they came up with an agreement where Andrew would still stay with the company as their COO, as well as their president. Thus, Andrew decided not to sell his entire 50% to Link International, but rather just 39% - this left him with an 11% stake in the company. Elie, on the other hand, decided to sell his entire percentage of stakes to Link International. Elie walked away with a total of $53 million and Andrew walked away with $49 million, as well as stock in the company and a position among the top employees of the fashion brand.
After the sale went through, Andrew’s position as CEO was taken over by Chikara ‘Ricki’ Sasaki. Link International also renamed the company to Theory Holdings. Apart from having a new CEO and renaming the brand, the buyer also had future plans for the fashion label. They wanted to make the label a global brand that is recognized by people from all corners of the world. In 2005, they went public and started to trade as Link Theory Holdings, or LTH for short. LTH also started to buy other fashion labels. Prada, Helmut Lang and the German label Rosner were among the list of labels they purchased. Fast Retailing Co continued to hold a 32.32% stake hold in the company from 2004. Fast Retailing purchased the remaining stock from LTH in 2009, which makes them the new owners of the company.
Today, the original brand still plays an important part in the company and is considered to be the company’s core brand. LTH have, however, started to expand by acquiring additional fashion brands, including Proof, Jean-Michel Cazabat’s footwear label, and PLS+T. They have also created sub-brands from the original, calling them “Theory Men”, “Theory Petit” and “Theory Luxe”.
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