NEW YORK — NexCen Brands Inc. said Wednesday that it inked a $54.6 million cash and stock deal to acquire Bill Blass Holding Co. Inc.. The announcement confirmed a report in WWD.

"This acquisition will also include two subsidiaries owned by Blass, Bill Blass Licensing Co. Inc. and Bill Blass International LLC," NexCen said in a statement. "In addition, the company has entered into a license agreement for men's and women's denim with Designer Licensing Holdings LLC...effective upon closing of the transaction. An affiliate of DLH will also acquire a 10 percent minority interest in the company's Bill Blass trademark subsidiary."

Robert W. D'Loren, NexCen's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement, "Bill Blass is a lifestyle brand that represents the best of timeless and classic American design. We could not think of a more suitable brand for our portfolio, [one] that we expect will be a fashion icon for years to come."

Michael Groveman, president and ceo of Blass, said the transaction was a "mutually beneficial opportunity" for the company and its designer, Michael Vollbracht.

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