Nike Inc. has signed a $570 million agreement to sell Cole Haan to private equity firm Apax Partners.
The sneaker giant bought Cole Haan for $95 million in cash and debt in 1988, but wanted to divest the business, along with Umbro, to focus on its core Nike, Jordan, Converse and Hurley brands. Iconix Brand Group Inc. agreed to buy Umbro for $225 million last month.
Alex Pellegrini, a partner on Apax’s retail and consumer team, said Cole Haan has broad consumer appeal and room to grow both in the U.S. and internationally.
Apax declined to comment on its specific plans for the brand before the deal closes, but it’s clear the industry is chasing Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. — an accessories-heavy fashion business with accessible prices that is now valued at more than $9.7 billion.
Cole Haan is sold through department stores as well as 108 U.S. stores and 68 shops abroad. Revenues rose 3 percent to $535 million for the fiscal year ended May 31. The New York-based brand was founded in 1928 and sells men’s and women’s footwear, outerwear and accessories.
For the next leg of the brand’s history, Apax is teaming up with Jack Boys, the former chief executive officer of Converse, who helped grow that brand’s sales to over $1 billion from $150 million.
Apax manages $35 billion and is a familiar name in fashion having previously invested in Tommy Hilfiger and worked with Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. (now PVH Corp.) in its acquisition of Calvin Klein.
The Cole Haan deal is expected to close early next year. Jefferies & Co. advised Apax on the transaction and provided financing.
The full terms were not disclosed, but investment bankers have noted that private equity firms are able to borrow money very cheaply as they buy into businesses.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews