Frank And Oak is set to continue operations after penning a deal with Unified Commerce Group.
The deal, which Unified Commerce Group (UCG) called a “strategic investment” is part of the Frank and Oak’s bankruptcy proceedings. UCG is set to purchase the assets of Modasuite Inc., Frank and Oak’s corporate operating name.
“The support and guidance from UCG will allow us to drive sustainable long-term growth for Frank And Oak.”
According to WWD, UCG has “acquired control” of Frank and Oak. The purchase price of the deal has not been disclosed and remains subject to approval by the Superior Court in Quebec. UCG stated that once approval is received, the deal is expected to close “shortly thereafter.”
UCG is a newly established company focused on acquiring and scaling global retail brands.
“UCG provides an exciting path forward with a group that appreciates and will invest in our unique assets, vision, and team,” said Hicham Ratnani, Frank And Oak co-founder and current COO. “I’m immensely proud of all that we have accomplished and overcome and the direction we are moving in as a brand.”
The deal between Frank and Oak and UCG follows the Montreal e-commerce company filing for protection under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act in June. With almost $19 million in debts, Frank and Oak was forced to close its stores early in the year due to COVID-19 and was subsequently heavily affected by the pandemic.
Filing with the Superior Court in Quebec, Frank and Oak submitted a restructuring plan that included launching a sale and investment solicitation process (SISP). The startup received interest from a number of potential buyers, narrowing it down to four, according to court documents, at the beginning of June.
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Dustin Jones, co-founder and CEO of UCG, and formerly the managing director of Macy’s, stated that his firm is set to work with Frank and Oak’s team, including CEO Jeremy Brown, to further “the brand’s success in Canada and abroad.”
“We are privileged to partner with Dustin, Greg [Freihofner] and the multi-faceted team at UCG who truly embody our values and share our optimism and vision for Frank And Oak,” said Brown. “The support and guidance from UCG will allow us to drive sustainable long-term growth for Frank And Oak.”
Frank and Oak is set to maintain its Montreal headquarters.
UCG plans to take Frank and Oak global. The firm stated its goal to fuel a Frank and Oak expansion back in the United States, as well into new markets such as Asia.
The deal represents the first for UCG, which was found in 2020 by Jones and Wall Street veteran Greg Freihofner. The pair are aiming to “build a portfolio of purpose-driven brands that connect with consumers on a global scale, and in the world’s most dynamic markets.”
UCG said its deal with Frank and Oak ”sets the stage for future global brand investments and acquisitions.”