Iconix Brand Group Inc. racked up a roughly $6 million pretax gain when China Outfitters Holdings Ltd., which sells the London Fog brand in the country, went public in Hong Kong.
The “monetization” is just the first of what Iconix hopes will be a string of cash infusions as it sells off its brands in China, which are held in Iconix China, a venture set up with Silas Chou’s Novel Fashions Holdings. The group has retail partnerships for its Candies, Rampage, Badgley Mischka, Rocawear and Royal Velvet brands in the country, businesses that could ultimately be spun off.
Under the deal with China Outfitters, Iconix China received shares in the retailer’s IPO and sold about 54 percent of its shares in the offering. There are more than 100 London Fog stores and shop-in-shops in China.
“Today’s announcement is a pivotal mark for our long-term growth strategy in China,” stated Neil Cole, chairman and chief executive officer of Iconix. “The Iconix brands that have launched in China to date are performing well. With the recent IPO of China Outfitters, we realized an initial gain for our London Fog brand and expect to participate in the future growth of the brand through the shares we are retaining.”
Shares of China Outfitters slipped 4.5 percent to 1.49 Hong Kong dollars, or 19 cents at current exchange, in their first day of trading Friday. U.S. buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. agreed to serve as a cornerstone investor in the IPO, buying a $60 million stake.