Japan’s Uniqlo retail chain are reportedly in talks with CEO Mickey Drexler, with a view to acquiring the J Crew fashion chain, which is currently TPG private-equity-owned.
The US retail industry has been alive with rumors in the last few days of a possible five billion dollar buyout of J Crew, the US fashion chain, which numbers Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie among their clients.
The potential buyers are reported to be the massive Japanese fashion superpower Fast Retailing, owners of the Uniqlo apparel chain, is reported to be in early stage negotiations with J Crew, and are prepared to pay up to five billion to gain control of the retail chain, who currently operate 333 retail stores throughout the United States, with an annual turnover of around $1.7 billion.
Mickey Drexler joined J Crew in 2002 from Gap, using his retailing flair to build the company, who were trading exclusively through catalogs to become one of the most influential fashion retailers in the US, as well as leading them to become an international concern with branches in Canada and Japan, as well as a flagship store which they opened in London at the end of last year.
Uniqlo is in the midst of an aggressive international expansion program, with their plans including having a $10 billion footprint in the US by 2020. Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing also owns a number of other retail chains including Helmut Lang, Theory, J Brand, Princesse Tam Tam, Comptoir des Cotonniers and National Standard and has more than 23, 000 people on their payroll
Mickey Drexler graduated with an M.B.A. from the Boston University Graduate School of Management.
Drexler held a number of merchandising jobs in New York City, including merchandising vice-president at Abraham & Straus in Brooklyn, New York as well as with Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s.
In the early 90s, Drexler began working with a small fashion retailing chain known as Gap. Under Drexler’s dynamic management the company underwent major expansion, growing to become one of the most important fashion chains during the decade and into the 21st century.
David Bonderman graduated at Harvard Law School. Shortly after he took a form of sabbatical, setting up home in Cairo, Egypt, to pursue his dream to study Islamic Legal Jurisprudence and Law. The young Bonderman became especially proficient in various Islamic legal cliques, in the process developing a near-native fluency in Modern Standard Arabic.
Later in his career, Bonderman initiated the Bonderman Fellows program at his seat of learning, the University of Washington, provided undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities for unstructured international travel and study.
David Bonderman began his professional career as a Fellow in Foreign and Comparative Law at Harvard University, where he acted as David Bonderman special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General later going on to become assistant professor at Tulane University Law School, from 1967 to 1968, going on to take up the post of Fellow in Foreign and Comparative Law in conjunction with Harvard University during the years 1969 to 1970, also acting as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General particularly in the Civil Rights Division.
After entering into the private sector, Mr. Bonderman rose to the position of partner in the law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., specializing in corporate, securities, bankruptcy and antitrust litigation, before leaving to become Chief Operating Officer of the Robert M. Bass Group, Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas.