NEW YORK — The Judith Leiber division of the Schottenstein Luxury Group has found a possible buyer in Harry Adjmi after two years on the market, sources said.
This story first appeared in the September 18, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Adjmi is in discussions to purchase the brand, according to market sources, although terms of the deal have not been finalized. It was unclear at press time how the Adjmi purchase will be structured, although sources believe it will be a separate firm similar to his acquisition of Jane Cosmetics from the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. in February 2004 via Jane & Co. Adjmi is the chairman and president of One Step Up, an apparel manufacturer for women’s and kids.
Judith Leiber founded her firm in 1963. The brand is most famous for crystal minaudières, often in animal shapes, that average $5,000 each. Leiber also has a lower price collection called Overture by Judith Leiber, and offers a small selection of accessories that includes eyewear, jewelry and fragrance. According to the company, there is one store on North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Leiber sold her company to Time Products, a London watch company, in 1993, and retired five years later. Time sold the firm to Pegasus Apparel Group in September 2000, which sold a majority stake to Schottenstein in May 2008. It couldn’t be determined at press time whether Pegasus retains a minority stake and, if so, whether Adjmi was acquiring that as well.
Schottenstein Luxury Group is the private equity arm of Schottenstein Stores. The group was started in 2008, when it acquired Adrienne Vittadini, followed by Leiber. It has since acquired footwear firm Taryn Rose.
Schottenstein put the Leiber brand up for sale two years ago. Market sources said the brand does annual volume of no more than $18 million.
Adjmi’s One Step Up sells private label lines to discounters such as Wal-Mart and Kmart, as well as specialty and department stores.
Neither Mary Gleason, president of Schottenstein Luxury Group and brand president for Leiber, nor Adjmi returned calls for comment.