Both Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s put their ratings on Jones’ debt on review for possible downgrade, noting the buyout could load Jones down with additional debt and lead to changes at the company. Moody’s rates Jones at “Ba3,” while S&P scores the company at “BB-minus.” The ratings are each three steps into non-investment-grade or “junk” territory.
Sycamore, which is led by Stefan L. Kaluzny, agreed last week to buy Jones for $15 a share, or $1.2 billion, plus another $1 billion in debt. Kaluzny is expected to break up Jones into four parts: the legacy footwear business and the denim business; an apparel company including Jones New York; Kurt Geiger, and Stuart Weitzman.
And while it’s not clear where Jones’ top leaders will stand in the new corporate structure, they will see nice payouts for their stock holdings.
Chief executive officer Wesley Card holds 1.4 million shares of Jones, mostly in restricted stock, valued at $20.3 million at the takeover price, according to regulatory filings. And Richard Dickson, president and ceo of the branded businesses, holds 930,124 shares, valued at $14 million. Together the two executives own 2.9 percent of the company and agreed to vote their shares in favor of the deal.
The takeover, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter, brings a good deal of uncertainty to the business.
“While we do not know what the composition of the capital structure will be following the transaction, we believe the company’s credit metrics could weaken if its financial sponsor influences financial governance toward shareholder-friendly strategies and the use of debt or debtlike instruments to maximize shareholder returns,” said Linda Phelps, a credit analyst at S&P.
Card sent a letter to employees after the deal was cut on Thursday noting that: “Today’s announcement will have no impact on your day-to-day responsibilities — it remains business as usual at The Jones Group.”
The letter included a list with questions it anticipated from its workers, including whether or not the deal would lead to layoffs.
“It is premature to speculate on this,” Jones said in its official answer. “Sycamore Partners will work with our management team and we will continue in our efforts to become more efficient and improve the company’s profitability. We are always looking at ways to restructure and become more efficient, as well as continue to deliver exceptional products.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
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@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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