By  on September 27, 2005

NEW YORK — Kate Spade has hired investment banking firm Peter J. Solomon Co. to handle any sale of the New York-based accessories company.

The appointment follows the announcement earlier this month by The Neiman Marcus Group that it would consider a sale of the 12-year-old firm, in which it purchased a majority interest in 1999 for $33.6 million from Alex Noel Inc. NMG was acquired by Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus, two equity firms, in May for $5.1 billion.

Spade has recently delved into other categories, including stationery, home, children's apparel and accessories, men's accessories and eyewear. Spade also revealed a retail rollout in July to boost its number of stores to as many as 50 units within three to five years. It now has 20 boutiques in the U.S. and nine in Asia.

Spade has a strong wholesale business as well, selling to Neiman's, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Kate Spade and NMG executives were unavailable for comment.

Peter J. Solomon has successfully completed more than 300 strategic and financial advisory assignments, including more than 100 merger and acquisition transactions, totaling more than $50 billion, since it was founded in 1989.

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