Vince Camuto

Montreal’s Aldo Group won’t be acquiring the footwear and accessories business from Camuto Group after all.

Both parties on Thursday said, “After careful consideration and thoughtful discussion, both parties mutually decided not to pursue the transaction. Instead, they will continue building their businesses autonomously and focus on investments being made to strengthen and grow their respective companies.”

The two firms emphasized that while they have chosen not to move forward with the transaction, they “look forward to a bright future partnering together” and “will work in close collaboration on a variety of mutual opportunities.”

The parties had unveiled the deal in August, following on the heels of Coach Inc.’s $2.4 billion purchase of Kate Spade & Co. and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.’s $1.35 billion deal for Jimmy Choo. The purchase price of Camuto’s footwear business wasn’t disclosed, but market experts pegged the deal in the $250 million range. It was a transaction that was supposed to provide some scale to both firms, and significantly increase both companies’ capabilities and reach and enhance their ability to offer a wide selection of footwear, handbags and accessories through owned stores, franchises, online and wholesale distribution.

David Bensadoun, chief executive officer of Aldo, said Camuto instead will become a “key strategic partner,” noting that the two firms have complementary strengths, capabilities and reach.

Alex Del Cielo, ceo of Camuto Group, said over the last several months, “We have discovered many ways we can partner together and are excited about what the future holds for both organizations….We look forward to exploring ways to build a platform that will allow both companies to work together on a wide range of global opportunities.”

Those opportunities could still involve ways to boost Camuto’s international and men’s business, while providing Aldo with some of Camuto’s capabilities in wholesale and expertise in the U.S. market.

Both firms compete in different segments of the footwear market, with Aldo’s brands at the moderate-priced level and Camuto focusing on trend-driven contemporary and luxury labels.

The late Vince Camuto, who passed away in 2015, founded Camuto in 2001. Aldo Bensadoun, father to David, founded Aldo in 1972.

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