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10-K
ICONIX BRAND GROUP, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/28/2019
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PART I

Item 1. Business

General

Iconix Brand Group is a brand management company and owner of a diversified portfolio of approximately 30 global consumer brands across the women’s, men’s, home and international segments. The Company’s business strategy is to maximize the value of its brands primarily through strategic licenses and joint venture partnerships around the world, as well as to grow the portfolio of brands through strategic acquisitions.

As of December 31, 2018, the Company’s brand portfolio includes Candie’s ®, Bongo ®, Joe Boxer ® , Rampage  ® , Mudd  ®  , London Fog  ®  , Mossimo  ®  , Ocean Pacific/OP  ®  , Danskin/Danskin Now ®  , Rocawear  ®  /Roc Nation  ®  , Cannon  ®  , Royal Velvet  ®  , Fieldcrest  ®  , Charisma  ®  , Starter  ®  , Waverly  ®  , Ecko Unltd  ®  /Mark Ecko Cut & Sew  ®  , Zoo York  ®  , Umbro ®, Lee Cooper  ® , and Artful Dodger  ®; and interests in Material Girl  ®  , Ed Hardy  ®  , Truth or Dare  ®  , Modern Amusement  ®  , Buffalo ®  , Hydraulic  ®, and PONY ®.

The Company seeks to monetize the Intellectual Property (herein referred to as “IP”) related to its brands throughout the world and in all relevant categories primarily by licensing directly with leading retailers (herein referred to as “direct to retail” or “DTR”), through consortia of wholesale licensees, through joint ventures in specific territories and via other activity such as corporate sponsorships and content as well as the sale of IP for specific categories or territories. Products bearing the Company’s brands are sold across a variety of distribution channels. The licensees are generally responsible for designing, manufacturing and distributing the licensed products. The Company supports its brands with marketing, advertising and promotional campaigns designed to increase brand awareness. Additionally, the Company provides its licensees with coordinated trend direction to enhance product appeal and help build and maintain brand integrity.  

Globally, the Company has over 50 direct-to-retail licenses and more than 375 total licenses. Licensees are selected based upon the Company’s belief that such licensees will be able to produce and sell quality products in the categories and distribution channels of their specific expertise and that they are capable of exceeding minimum sales targets and royalties that the Company generally requires for each brand. This licensing strategy is designed to permit the Company to operate its licensing business, leverage its core competencies of marketing and brand management with minimal working capital. The vast majority of the Company’s licensing agreements include minimum guaranteed royalty revenue which provides the Company with greater visibility into future cash flows. As of January 1, 2019, the Company had over $405 million of aggregate guaranteed royalty revenue over the terms of its existing contracts excluding renewals.

A key initiative in the Company’s global brand expansion plans has been the formation of international joint ventures. The strategy in forming international joint ventures is to partner with best-in-class, local partners to bring the Company’s brands to market more quickly and efficiently, generating greater short- and long-term value from its IP, than the Company believes is possible if it were to build-out wholly-owned operations ourselves across a multitude of regional or local offices. Since September 2008, the Company has established the following international joint ventures: Iconix China, Iconix Latin America, Iconix Europe, Iconix India, Iconix Canada, Iconix Australia, Iconix Southeast Asia, Iconix Israel, Iconix Middle East, Umbro China, Danskin China, Starter China, and Lee Cooper China.  Note that the Company now maintains a 100% ownership interest in Iconix China, Iconix Latin America and Iconix Canada.  Refer to Note 5 in Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further detail.

The Company’s primary goal of maximizing the value of its IP also includes, in certain instances, the sale to third parties of a brand’s trademark in specific territories or categories. As such, the Company evaluates potential offers to acquire some or all of a brand’s IP by comparing whether the offer is more valuable than the Company’s estimate of the current and potential revenue streams to be earned via the Company’s traditional licensing model. Further, as part of the Company’s evaluation process it also considers whether or not the buyer’s future development of the brand may help to expand the brand’s overall recognition and global revenue potential.

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