NEW YORK — HMX Group is fielding interest from potential buyers — and Iconix Brand Group Inc. is among the strongest suitors.
This isn’t the first time Iconix has shown interest in the financially troubled men’s wear company, according to market sources. But its interest is said to have “intensified” in recent weeks, with the firm now seeking partners it can work with to complete a deal. Iconix is a brand-management company and would need a partner or partners to manage the operations of HMX.
Sources said that in any Iconix-led transaction, the company and its partners would share HMX’s equity, although Iconix would most likely own the trademarks. The new owners would continue to operate all of HMX’s current brands, which include Hart Schaffner Marx, Hickey Freeman, Bobby Jones and Coppley.
A spokeswoman for Iconix declined comment Wednesday.
Doug Williams, chief executive officer of HMX, said, “The company doesn’t speculate on market rumors. SKNL, management and its advisers are completely focused on ensuring the future of HMX and its brands.”
HMX’s history originated from the now-defunct Hartmarx Corp., which was acquired out of bankruptcy by Indian firm S. Kumars Nationwide Ltd. in August 2009 and renamed HMX. London-based Emerisque Brands holds a minority stake in HMX.
While Williams and Joseph Abboud, president and chief creative officer of HMX, have been working to turn the group around, the men’s wear firm has had issues this year regarding its financial structure. In August, the company closed on a new financing facility with Salus Capital Partners. The new one replaced the facility HMX had with its former lending group, led by Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan.
Approval of the new facility was finalized in June but hit a roadblock due to a required cash infusion from SKNL that never arrived. The initial glitch was resolved as continued negotiations centered around a timetable through which SKNL would provide funding via installments.
But market sources indicate that SKNL might be unwilling to continue to fund HMX, increasing the pressure on the firm to find a new owner. One source familiar with the financial structure of HMX acknowledged that “timing is critical” in connection with any acquisition of the firm. If SKNL does not provide its agreed funding, that could jeopardize the availability of HMX’s new facility with Salus Capital.
Sources said that more than two dozen firms have looked at HMX, although Iconix seems to be the most interested. Rumblings over the future of HMX and its funding first surfaced at the MAGIC show in Las Vegas in August. There were also rumors that a management-led buyout might be in the works. While the accuracy of the speculation could not be determined, sources said any new owner would likely keep Williams and Abboud on board, given their efforts in overhauling the business and updating the collections.
There are major hurdles to any possible acquisition of HMX, namely the status of the unions and the North American factories that are part of its operations. HMX operates three factories — in Chicago, Rochester and Hamilton, Ontario.
Market sources believe that discussions may have already included union feedback, and that the unions are already on board with a possible sale of the company. One source familiar with the discussions said “there’s been no discussion or intent to shut down any factory.” The source concluded that the unions see a sale with continued factory production as a “commitment to American manufacturing,” and as a result, the factories would not be an issue in any transaction currently under discussion.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)