The market’s about to get more of Michael.

This story first appeared in the March 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.


Shareholders of the high-flying Michael Kors Holdings plan to sell another 25 million shares of the company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Kors stock price has nearly doubled since the company went public in December. At the current price — the stock gained 5.3 percent to close at $49.59 today — the sale would raise $1.24 billion.


That cash would go to the selling shareholders, including Michael Kors, chairman and chief executive officer John Idol, senior vice president of business affairs Lee Sporn and Sportswear Holdings, a company controlled by Kors directors Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll.


The company’s underwriters were also given the option to purchase up to another 3.8 million shares.


Kors has been in a standout among retail stocks, which have been rallying this year. The S&P Retail Index rose 0.3 percent, or 1.55 points, to 597.70 points today — hitting a new all-time high of 599.45 in midday trading. The sector’s up 14.2 percent so far this year.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 0.1 percent, or 14.08 points, to 12,922.02 despite a solid February jobs report, which showed the economy added 227,000 jobs for the month.


Also picking up steam were Ann Inc., which gained 6.2 percent to $27.41 despite a 72.6 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits; G-III Apparel Group, 4.3 percent to $24.74; The Jones Group Inc., 3.8 percent to $10.75, and Sears Holdings Corp., 3.7 percent to $80.48.


European markets were buoyed by Greece, which convinced the bulk of its bondholders to agree to a debt swap, as well as by central banks in the U.K. and the Euro zone which said they would hold interest rates at historic lows. The Bank of England kept rates at 0.5 percent, while the European Central Bank left its benchmark rate at 1 percent for the third month.


The DAX in Frankfurt climbed 0.7 percent to 6,880.21, followed by the FTSE 100 in London, which advanced 0.5 percent to 5,887.49. The CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent to 3,487.48.


The FTSE MIB in Milan was the only market losing ground, falling 1.1 percent to 16,479.20.


Retail and luxury stocks gaining ground included Carrefour, which rose 5.3 percent to 18.65 euros, despite falling sales and profits in 2011; Marcolin, 3.9 percent to 3.99 euros, and Mulberry Group, 3.9 percent to 19.95 pounds.


The euro traded at $1.32 while the pound traded at $1.58.

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