By and  on September 24, 2012

Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. is biddingadieu to the public markets.

Shareholders on Monday approved KennethCole’s plan to take the company private for $15.25 a share — giving thefirm an enterprise value of about $245 million. The deal is expected toclose today. The designer already held 46 percent of the company’s stockand 89 percent of the voting power, but a majority of othershareholders needed to sign off on the transaction for it to becompleted.

Now Cole is trying to get out a different kind of vote. The companylaunched a nationwide program today to encourage voter registration forthe November presidential election. It is offering a limited-editiontote for $20 with the message “Rock the Vote (and the tote).” Onehundred percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the tote will bedonated to Awearness, the Kenneth Cole Foundation, in support of Rockthe Vote’s efforts to increase voter registration. The dark-gray unisex,washed canvas cross-body tote has a QR code that directs consumers to avoter registration online tool. The program runs through Election Day.Musician Jason Mraz is currently on tour with Rock the Vote encouragingvoter registration and is an Awearness change agent.

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