Milan –Despite the adverse economic climate, it was announced today that Change Capital Partners has found an agreement to sell Jil Sander to Onward Holdings Co., the Tokyo-listed apparel group, and its European subsidiary, Gibo’ Co. Spa, for 167 million euros or $244.1 million at current exchange rates. According to a statement, the transaction is expected to close shortly. Speculation on a possible spin off had started to mount last month.
“We are greatly honored that Jil Sander, a luxury brand with exquisite design and spirit of innovation, is joining our group,” said Takeshi Hirouchi, chairman and ceo of Onward. “The acquisition certainly enhances our stable of well known brands. We believe that there are considerable opportunities and synergies to drive the growth of Jil Sander, Gibo’ and the entire Onward Group.”
Jil Sander also just finalized its squeeze out, initially set in motion in the spring of 2006 and since July 21, it is fully delisted. Until then, there was a remaining two percent stake floating on the Frankfurt Bourse.
Change Capital Partners, the London based private equity fund backed by the Halley family, cashed out an unrevealed amount to buy Jil Sander from Prada Spa in February 2006.
According to the release, Change Capitals have successfully turned Jil Sander around, creating a solid platform for future growth. Operating profits went back in the black from a 2005 loss of 12.9 million euros or $18.9 million at current exchange rates to last year’s 6.1 million euros or $8.9 million.
Unlike Prada, which seeked the involvement of Jil Sander herself twice, the design talent of Raf Simons, who Prada chief Patrizio Bertelli appointed creative director in May 2005, energized Change Capital.
The understanding is that Onward intends to keep Simons, whose design aesthetics of calm elegance based on no fuss volumes, intricate cuts and superb quality have guaranteed the continuation of the brand’s DNA first established by Sander herself.
Since his debut collection in February 2006 - his first ever effort with women’s wear - the designer’s acclaim has grown by the season. With it, so has the brand’s need to branch out into accessories and eyewear as well as at retail.
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)
20-year-old British singer @jorjasmith_ made her debut at Coachella last weekend. We caught up with her and talked about her love for Amy Winehouse, working with Kendrick Lamar on the “Black Panther” album and her fashion philosophy. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @katiedaisyla)
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)