Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. is bidding adieu to the public markets.
This story first appeared in the September 25, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Shareholders on Monday approved Kenneth Cole’s plan to take the company private for $15.25 a share — giving the firm an enterprise value of about $245 million. The deal is expected to close today. The designer already held 46 percent of the company’s stock and 89 percent of the voting power, but a majority of other shareholders needed to sign off on the transaction for it to be completed.
Now Cole is trying to get out a different kind of vote. The company launched a nationwide program today to encourage voter registration for the November presidential election. It is offering a limited-edition tote for $20 with the message “Rock the Vote (and the tote).” One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the tote will be donated to Awearness, the Kenneth Cole Foundation, in support of Rock the Vote’s efforts to increase voter registration. The dark-gray unisex, washed canvas cross-body tote has a QR code that directs consumers to a voter registration online tool. The program runs through Election Day. Musician Jason Mraz is currently on tour with Rock the Vote encouraging voter registration and is an Awearness change agent.