The deal to take The Jones Group Inc. private is coming down to the wire.
Stefan L. Kaluzny’s Sycamore Partners is expected to buy the company for about $1.2 billion, or $15 a share. And while the two sides were initially expected to sign the deal Monday, they spent the day making final tweaks to paperwork for the transaction, a source said. An agreement is still expected this week.
Jones is a big fish for Kaluzny to reel in.
The investor established Sycamore in 2011, raising more than $1 billion that was ultimately put to work, buying a stake in what was then Limited Brands Inc.’s sourcing business and acquiring The Talbots Inc. and Hot Topic Inc. RELATED STORY: Jones-Sycamore Deal Said Near Closing >>
But a Jones deal would take Sycamore to another level, adding $3.75 billion in annual sales and 35 brands, including standouts Stuart Weitzman and Kurt Geiger on the higher end.
The company’s businesses, which also include Jones New York and Nine West, have overall seen lackluster profitability. Activist investor James Mitarotonda, head of Barington Capital Group, has needled the firm to boost results.
Citi was hired to explore strategic options, shepherding what has proved to be a long process. And one in which Sycamore, advised by Guggenheim Securities, played many parts — first looking to acquire the apparel business and then switching its interest to the footwear division before settling on the whole company.
The deal, should it ultimately go through, will bring to a close an era on Seventh Avenue where Jones, along with Liz Claiborne Inc. and Kellwood Co., once ruled over their particular piece of the department store wholesale business. Claiborne, which was renamed Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., agreed to sell off Lucky Brand last week, leaving it with just the Kate Spade brand. Kellwood Co. spun off Vince, its most promising business, in an initial public offering last month.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast