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NexCen Report Lists Blass as Discontinued

As NexCen readies to take Bill Blass off its books, sources say at least one official bid for Blass has been submitted.

NexCen Brands Inc. is getting ready to take Bill Blass off its books.

The troubled brand management firm Tuesday posted preliminary financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, with its consumer branded licensing businesses Bill Blass and Waverly listed as discontinued operations because of their expected sale.

In the quarterly report, NexCen said licensing revenues from Blass and Waverly were $2.4 million, compared with $4.2 million in last year’s second quarter.

Second-quarter revenues from the franchising business were $12 million versus $4.7 million last year, with the increase reflecting the acquisition of Great American Cookie.

Market sources said an international bidder might be snooping around Blass and mulling the possibility of making a bid for the brand. Meanwhile, investment firm Angelo Gordon is also said to be debating whether to make a firm offer for the brand.

One thing that’s still unclear is whether any of the forthcoming bids will include the Bill Blass Couture business, as well as the ready-to-wear line designed by Peter Som. The existing Bill Blass operation is said to be worth more without the unprofitable high-end designer business because of losses that would have to be assumed by a new owner if the rtw unit were retained. Sources peg the losses sustained by the couture business at more than $1 million a year.

Prospective bidders are working on their due diligence, sources said, and one told WWD that at least one official bid for Blass had been submitted prior to the suggested mid-September deadline.