Management company The Firm has sold a majority stake in its Pony brand of footwear and apparel to Global Brand Marketing, a privately held Santa Barbara, Calif. company that controls global footwear licenses for brands such as Diesel, XOXO, Nautica and Mecca.
GBMI will direct activities such as design, production, distribution, marketing, public relations, human resources, finance and legal. The Firm will continue to provide marketing services for Pony including assisting with such activities as brand imaging, strategic marketing and certain promotion activities.
"I truly respect Pony's long heritage in the athletic industry and look forward to building the brand to its proper global potential," said Killick Datta, CEO of Global Brand Marketing, Inc. "This is an incredible opportunity and partnering with The Firm is an ideal and natural choice for GBMI."
"We understand how to reach and connect with the all important 18-35 year old audience," said Jeff Kwatinetz, co-chairman and CEO of The Firm. "We have only begun to build Pony as a global brand. We could not have picked a better partner in Killick Datta and his team at GBMI to lead us in this endeavor."
The Firm originally acquired the rights to the then-dormant Pony brand in 2001. It will receive a substantial cash component as well as retain a significant equity interest in Pony International, LLC.
Firm executives Dave Baram and Steve Bannon, who were architects of the transaction with GBMI, will sit with Kwatinetz on the Pony International Executive Committee along with Datta and other executives from GBMI.