NEW YORK — As sources say that the three firms potentially interested in buying HMX Group have now signed confidentiality agreements with the company, a former bidder — Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. — is again eyeing its brands.
A spokesman for Yucaipa confirmed the private equity firm's interest in HMX. "Ron has great relationships with the unions and they asked him to take a look," according to the spokesman.
If it does enter the fray, it won’t be the first time Burkle has made a run at HMX: his private equity firm bid for certain assets when the then Hartmarx Corp. voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in 2009.
Back then, Yucaipa was only interested in the brands, such as Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, and not the firm’s factories. Financial and market sources said they expect Yucaipa to enter the bidding after a bankruptcy filing takes place.
Yucaipa is not currently in the bidding mix. The three firms that are currently in talks with HMX are Authentic Brands, Iconix Brand Group and Bluestar Alliance.
S. Kumar’s Nationwide Ltd. acquired Hartmarx during the bankruptcy in 2009 and renamed the new operating firm HMX Group.
One stumbling block, as it was in the 2009 bankruptcy, is the factories that are under HMX’s ownership. Private equity firms want just the intellectual property assets. Even strategic firms prefer just the brands. The factories are in some respects outdated and poorly configured, said one individual who requested anonymity.
Should the IP assets get sold if a bankruptcy filing were to occur, and the factories shut down, that would be a blow to HMX’s “Made in America” stance, particularly as more smaller apparel firms and fashion brands are seeing the benefits of increasing their production in the U.S.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews