By  on March 24, 2005

NEW YORK — Pacific Alliance won an auction Wednesday for bankrupt Donnkenny Inc., people familiar with the situation said.

A federal bankruptcy judge will review the bidding results on Friday.

Donnkenny, which produces the licensed nicole by Nicole Miller collection sold exclusively in J.C. Penney stores, filed for Chapter 11 protection in the Southern District of New York in February. The company at that time had an asset purchase agreement with Donn K Acquisition, which is affiliated with Pacific Alliance, maker of the Regatta brand.

Donnkenny, which has annual wholesale volume of slightly more than $90 million, also produces fashions under the Pierre Cardin and Bill Blass names and private label merchandise.

For much of its recent history, the company lacked a powerhouse brand. That shortcoming was remedied with the signing of the Nicole Miller license last year, but the move proved to be too little too late.

In addition to nicole, the company created a better-priced sportswear collection named Nicole Miller New York. The costs of these launches and reduced sales from customers holding off for the new offerings helped push the firm over the edge and into insolvency.

Donnkenny has continued to ship during bankruptcy and launched the nicole collection in 467 Penney’s stores last month.

Market sources said the brand, which was deemed promising enough to skip the usual test rollout, is expected to produce sales of at least $100 million during its first year.

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