By  on October 21, 2008

Sean John founder Sean “Diddy” Combs and financial partner The Yucaipa Cos. have acquired streetwear brand Enyce from Liz Claiborne Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to an informed source, the purchase price was about $20 million.

“Enyce is a brand that I have always admired, and they have been a very important player in the young men’s sportswear arena for over a decade,” said Combs, founder and CEO of Sean John. “I am really excited to bring it into our portfolio of brands that already includes Sean John and Zac Posen. Our long-term plan is to grow the Enyce brand through innovative marketing, expansion of the men’s wear and boys’ lines, and launching into new licensing categories.”

Enyce was founded in 1996, and markets denim and sportswear collections for men and boys, as well as big & tall and women’s lines. Liz Claiborne purchased Enyce in 2003.

William McComb, CEO of Liz Claiborne, who has been selling off that company’s secondary businesses in order to focus on a smaller number of more meaningful brands, noted: “As we continue to implement our strategy of building powerful brands, we determined that we can’t properly maximize the potential of Enyce. Enyce is a strong brand with a loyal customer following; however, the unsettled economic environment and our commitment to properly resource and focus on other brands in our portfolio contributed to this decision. As a leading player in the young men’s market, Sean Combs has the expertise and resources to help Enyce during this difficult period and ultimately thrive.”

The Yucaipa Cos. is an L.A.-based investment firm controlled by billionaire Ron Burkle, which holds a large stake in Sean John, in addition to ownership of storied English jeweler Garrard and stakes in London jeweler Stephen Webster, the specialty retailer Scoop and designer label Zac Posen. Yucaipa’s fashion portfolio is overseen by Bob Wichser, the former CEO of Sean John and a longtime veteran of JA Apparel.

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