NEW YORK — G-III Apparel Group Ltd. is set to make a splash in the luxury swim market by acquiring Vilebrequin from Netherlands-based private equity fund Fashion Fund I BV.
The deal is for a total purchase price of 85.5 million euros, or about $106.2 million, of which 70.5 million euros ($87.6 million) is in cash and another 15 million euros ($18.6 million) is in unsecured promissory notes, due Dec. 31, 2017, at an interest rate of 5 percent a year.
In addition, the agreement stipulates contingent future payments of up to 22.5 million euros ($27.9 million) based upon set performance objectives over the three years ending Dec. 31, 2015, which could make the total deal worth up to $134.1 million.
“An opportunity to acquire a preeminent luxury brand such as Vilebrequin does not happen very often. Vilebrequin sets a global standard for excellence and commands exceptional loyalty at a premium price in each of its markets,” said Morris Goldfarb, chairman and chief executive officer of G-III Apparel Group. “We believe that this brand is very powerful and expect to add more retail locations throughout the world, as well as develop the business beyond its heritage in men’s swimwear, accessories and resort-wear.”
Last year, Vilebrequin rang up sales of 45.1 million euros, or $55.9 million, with a substantial majority derived from the U.S. and Europe. There are currently 185 freestanding Vilebrequin stores and shops-in-shop around the world, with 60 owned and 125 franchised. France is the brand’s largest market, with 20 company-owned stores, followed by the U.S. with 16 stores and Italy with 13 stores.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia