WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/cki-begins-a-review-of-its-warnaco-brands-1171599/
government-trade
government-trade

CKI Begins A Review Of Its Warnaco Brands

<CS:BOLD>NEW YORK -- Calvin Klein Inc. is running the numbers on its jeans and underwear businesses.<BR><BR>The designer company, as reported, is eager to buy back its CK Calvin Klein Jeans license and Calvin Klein Underwear business from the bankrupt...

NEW YORK — Calvin Klein Inc. is running the numbers on its jeans and underwear businesses.

The designer company, as reported, is eager to buy back its CK Calvin Klein Jeans license and Calvin Klein Underwear business from the bankrupt Warnaco Group. Barry Schwartz, chairman of CKI, confirmed Monday: “We are just starting to do our due diligence this week.” He declined further comment.

Due diligence could take several months, or it could happen very fast, said sources. And there may be other interested parties looking at Warnaco’s data.

Tony Alvarez, chief executive officer of Warnaco, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

As reported, Bear Stearns & Co. is Warnaco’s exclusive financial adviser, assisting in finding prospective buyers for some of Warnaco’s assets. The book has been circulating for several weeks.

In fiscal 2000, the CK Calvin Klein Jeans business and the directly owned Calvin Klein Underwear business generated combined wholesale volume of $943.2 million.

As reported, John Kourakos was named president of Warnaco’s sportswear division, which includes the CK Calvin Klein Jeans business, last month, and in an interview, he and Alvarez said one of the company’s main priorities is rebuilding the relationship with CKI. From 1994 to 1996, Kourakos served as president of Warnaco’s Calvin Klein underwear operations, and before that, he spent eight years working at CKI. It is possible that if CKI bought the businesses back from Warnaco, it would hire Kourakos to run them.

Last month, as reported, Alvarez said: “Over the next three or four months, we are going to make a judgment on how we are going to get out of court. We are going to dispose of noncore businesses and look at the core to determine if there are any of them that we would contemplate selling or any that we would contemplate reorganizing around in middle to late summer. Hopefully, we are going to be able to propose a plan of reorganization and get out of court.”