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Joop Licensees Buy House

A group of licensees of the Joop brand banded together to acquire the fashion house from its bankrupt former parent firm, Wünsche AG.

BERLIN — A consortium made up of three Joop GmbH licensees —Coty, Strellson and EganaGoldpfeil — has bought the designer house from the bankrupt Wünsche AG.

This story first appeared in the April 14, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

This marks the end of months of speculation over the future of the troubled Joop fashion firm. Details of the deal were not disclosed and representatives of the various parties in the deal weren’t available for comment.

Designer Wolfgang Joop sold his remaining 5 percent in the business in 2001, and completely severed all ties with the company which bears his name. The Joop fashion business is based on multiple licenses. Coty’s Lancaster division holds the Joop perfume license, EganaGoldpfeil produced Joop leather bags, and the men’s wear company Strellson is a property of the Holy brothers, the former owners of Hugo Boss and current owners of Windsor, which has the Joop men’s wear license.

Last year, the designer won a lawsuit against the firm that bears his name and its Hamburg-based Wünsche for the improper cancellation of his contact. Joop GmbH had declared his contract, which was slated to run until the middle of this year, null and void after being slapped with a multimillion-dollar tax bill by German authorities, but the courts disagreed with that conclusion. Estimates of the payment to the designer ran between $5 million and $6 million.