The quickly growing Vince brand appears to be several steps closer to the public markets.
The brand’s parent, Kellwood Co., recently hired Lisa Klinger to be chief financial officer — giving financial lead of the company to an executive with recent experience with a retail initial public offering. Klinger last month resigned as executive vice president and cfo of The Fresh Market Inc., where she earned high marks for her handling of the firm’s 2010 IPO.
Kellwood, which is owned by Sun Capital Partners, is said to be working with Goldman Sachs as it explores an IPO for Vince, although it is not clear if the investment bank has been officially hired to put together an offering. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
One financial source familiar with the company noted: “When businesses are being run by private equity, sometimes they have cfo’s in place who are good cfo’s but aren’t public market cfo’s, and sometimes they want to [shift] to someone who has relationships with equity investors and other people in the regular financial markets.”
If there were an IPO, most observers expect that it would be a partial spin off of Vince. That would leave Kellwood holding a significant stake in that business as well as a number of other, less profitable businesses, such as Rebecca Taylor, Sag Harbor and My Michelle.
Kellwood’s third-quarter earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes, amortization and restructuring rose 13.8 percent to $19.8 million from $17.4 million a year earlier, a company spokeswoman confirmed to WWD. That’s a good jump, especially considering sales for the three months inched up 3.6 percent to $215.5 million from $208 million.
Vince is seen as Kellwood’s financial engine. The brand is estimated to have about $60 million in EBITDA on sales of $225 million to $250 million.
In considering an IPO for Vince, Kellwood is following the steps of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., which went public a year ago and reawakened investors to the potential gains to be had with a quickly growing fashion brand.
Breaking: @cushnieetochs’ co-founders @carlycushnie and @ochsmichelle are parting ways. After a 10-year run, Ochs is leaving the brand. Get the full story on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
@maybelline’s Kanako Takase had snow bunnies in mind when creating the beauty look for @philipppleininternational. Playing off of the bedazzled snowboards in the collection, Takase mixed two highlighters together for a luminous sheen. #wwdbeauty #nyfw (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
“There’s a huge gap between the old way of doing things and today. It takes the youth to help evolve that. You have to count on the kids today to help lead you into the future. A lot of these retailers are stuck in the past. Communication is the biggest thing,” said @ronniefieg of @kith on the youth’s role in retail. On Monday night, Jeff Staple moderated a keynote session with Fieg and @syresmith at Assembly - a series of workshops, talks and keynotes addressing topics or issues in the apparel industry. Head to WWD.com to read more advice from Fieg and what Smith thinks of his dad @willsmith’s Instagram account and sustainability (📷: @weston.wells)
@joansmalls closed the @michaelkors fall 2018 show in black sequined pants and a varsity T printed with 19 on the front and 81 on the back. 1981 – the year Kors went into business. #wwdfashion #nfyw (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“You think your life is going to be a certain way, and nothing you thought would happen ends up happening. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be designing clothes and working with Mickey Drexler, and building something I’m deeply proud of,” said Jenna Lyons. Nine months after leaving @jcrew, Lyons is exploring the meaning of happiness. Read the interview, where Lyons talks about reinvention and more on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Farrell) #jennalyons #jcrew