NEW YORK — Iconix Brand Group Inc. said on Thursday that it has entered into a letter of intent to purchase the high-profile Joe Boxer underwear brand.
Iconix, which had been known as Candie’s Inc. until last month, said it was negotiating a definitive purchase agreement, subject in part to the company’s ability to obtain financing, among other contingencies.
The announcement came after WWD reported that the sale of Joe Boxer to a New York-based brand management firm specializing in footwear and apparel was imminent.
Financial sources said the deal was expected to close today.
The deal “is a good one for Iconix because it is accretive to earnings,” said a financial source with knowledge about licensing and the Boxer brand.
Neil Cole, chief executive officer of Iconix, could not be reached for comment.
Shares of Iconix hit a 52-week high in over-the-counter trading on Thursday to close at $8.04, up 18 cents. Its former 52-week high was $7.95. Shares rose to as much as $8.25 in intraday trading. The average trading volume is 213,633 shares; more than 760,000 shares changed hands in Thursday trading.
Windsong/Allegiance Apparel Group bought Joe Boxer from founder Nicholas Graham in March 2001 after the underwear firm found itself near bankruptcy following a $3.15 million judgment that was awarded to a former licensee. Windsong inked an exclusive distribution deal with Kmart in 2001, with the launch of Joe Boxer in time for back-to-school in 2002.
Sears Holdings Corp. carried over the agreement when Sears Roebuck & Co. and Kmart Holding Corp. merged this year.
Institutional investors, particularly hedge fund players, have taken active positions in the stock, another financial source said.
There was speculation in the marketplace that Iconix is arranging for a loan to help pay for the deal, one that would require the company to pay between 4 and 5 percent interest. The collateral for the loan was said to be the licensing fees derived from the Joe Boxer product lines.
A hedge fund player, who asked not to be identified, said the acquisition has little risk to Iconix since the licensing fees represent a steady flow of income.But there’s still a question about Joe Boxer’s future. A spokesman for Kmart declined comment.
A retail source said Joe Boxer remains an important brand for the discounter.
Some investors theorize that Joe Boxer might at some point find its way to Kohl’s Department Stores, a hedge fund source said. That possibility would depend on what the original arrangement was with Kmart.
As for Iconix, the company has evolved from its roots as a footwear firm. The company changed its name to reflect its new focus on brand management. Iconix still owns its signature label, Candie’s, but along the way picked up Bongo and Badgley Mischka. The brands are licensed in a broad range of categories.
Candie’s is set to launch as a sportswear line for juniors and girls’ this fall in Kohl’s in an exclusive distribution arrangement.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)